The Perception of Citizenship in Korea: Its Social and Political Variations

  • Jonghoe YangEmail author
Part of the Transcultural Research – Heidelberg Studies on Asia and Europe in a Global Context book series (TRANSCULT, volume 5)


The purpose of this paper is to investigate how Koreans perceive citizenship and how their perceptions vary by some of their social and political characteristics. Analyses of 2004 KGSS data reveal that the citizenship, for the Koreans, consists of five components, that is, loyalty to the state, loyalty to the community, citizenship rights, political efficacy and political knowledge. But the concept is not uniform and bounded. People with different backgrounds conceptualize citizenship differently based on diverse grounds such as sex, age, political orientation, religion, and region of residence. Thus citizenship perceived by Koreans cannot be neatly characterized to be either the republican or the liberal, either the left or the right. Rather there are a variety of mixed forms, which reflect Korea’s turbulent history of democratic development and recent changes including the neo-liberal reform after the 1997 economic crisis and the accelerated pace of globalization. Finally, a concept of culture-specific, but liberal, citizenship is proposed as a viable alternative in this conflicting situation.


Political Orientation National Identity Civil Disobedience Political Knowledge Civic Virtue 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologySungkyunkwan UniversitySeoulKorea
  2. 2.SeoulKorea

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