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pISSN : 1225-0120

2020 KCI Impact Factor : 2.74
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2020, Vol.54, No.2

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    Generation, Class, and Hierarchy II : Do Overloaded Baby-Boomers / 386-Generation Within Firms Lead to More Irregular Workers and Less Youth Employment?

    Cheol-Sung Lee | JEONG JUN HO | Cheon, Byung You | 2020, 54(2) | pp.1~58 | number of Cited : 2
    Abstract PDF
    This study explores why and how youth unemployment increases and irregular labor persists in the 2010 South Korea’s labor market. We highlight three aspects of structural transformation and institutionalization processes: first, transformation of population structure; second, institutionalization of seniority wage system; and third, reinforcement of generational networks. The argument is that Korean firms’ cost crises have emerged as baby boomers/386 core generations (1958-1963 cohorts) reach the top of the wage range (Pay Range / Salary Bands) under the seniority principle in the 2010s, under the condition in which generational networks represented by labor unions boosted the rate of wage increase in the 2000s. We predict that, the firms facing cost crises due to the overloaded People in their 50s who receive the highest wages are more likely to reduce youth employment and increase irregular workers in order to lessen the cost crises. To test this argument, we employ fixed effects models and two stage least square models (2SLS) with an instrumental variable (IV) to analyze Workplace Panel Surveys (WPS, 2005-2017). Our analysis reveal that the higher the proportion of workers over age 50(55), the higher the level of average wage, and the bigger the size of a firm, more likely it will reduce youth employment, use outsourcing, and hire more irregular workers. This study demonstrates that the cause of exacerbating youth unemployment in the 2010s is attributable to the combination of demographic, institutional, and organization factors. The findings of this study show that the interlocking of population-seniority-generation factors can increase not only inter-generational inequality due to increases in youth unemployment and youth irregular work, but also intra-generational inequality brought by increases in early retirement and irregular senior workers in their 50s.
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    A Study on the Factors Influencing the Organizing of Automobile Sales Workers

    Hwang Hyunil | 2020, 54(2) | pp.59~98 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    This study investigated the factors influencing the organization of automobile sales workers using the concepts and analytical framework of social movement theory. Generally, auto sales workers have been perceived as difficult subjects to organize into trade unions because of their strong individualistic tendencies and their vulnerability in power relations vis-a-vis employers owing to fragmentation across small workplaces. However, from 2017-2018, in the wake of the candlelight vigil movement, three auto sales workers' locals were established in the Korean Metal Workers’ Union. This study analyzes how auto sales workers could successfully organize into unions within the given environment of opportunity/threat and grievance-causing conditions by using the concept of “union capacity”, a concept meant to capture the ability of workers themselves to effectively mobilize power resources to achieve their aims. Comparative case analysis revealed two significant findings. First, in all three locals, organic relations coordinating with upper-level union bodies played an important role in the union organizing process, suggesting advantages to a national, industry-based union system for capacity-building rather than an enterprise-level union system. Second, there were differences in the organizational patterns and outcomes of the three locals, which stem from company-specific characteristics. Fragmented employment relations and employers' union-avoidance responses slowed the organizing process but made the local more militant whereas direct employment relations and employers' moderate responses made the organizing process both consultative and rapid. The implications that can be derived from this are that the prospects for union organization in Korea depend on the development of national, industry-based unions in substance as well as form, and hinges on the union's capacity to effectively utilize limited resources to counter employer responses.
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    How Do Appearance and Authenticity Affect the Quality of Life? : Focusing on the Cases of High School and College Students

    Seil Oh | Beom Su Choi | 2020, 54(2) | pp.99~146 | number of Cited : 0
    Appearance has become pivotal in the contemporary Korean society. Appearance management is now recognized as a significant part of self-care not only for personal satisfaction, but also for social relationships and success. In particular, social studies on youths (e.g., high school and university students) report that appearance has a very impactful connotation because this generation is very sensitive and highly influenced by mainstream culture, media, and fashion. However, there was no study on how appearance and authenticity as an integrated way of autonomy, reflection and self-expression affects the quality of life based on the duality of structure and individual agents (Giddens, 1984). Therefore, this study aims to examine how ‘appearance orientation’ consisting of three dimensions - appearance awareness, appearance interest, and appearance management - and ‘authenticity,’ in contrast, consisting of self-expression and autonomy are related to the quality of life dynamically. Our research team collected questionnaires of 457 high school students from five high schools and 656 university students from five universities in Seoul and conducted statistical analyses. The findings of this study report that, as for high school students, appearance recognition as a part of appearance orientation shows a significantly negative relationship with the quality of life, whereas the ability of a social agent to freely express one’s internal values, meanings, and emotions has proved to have the most significant influence on the quality of life. For college students, appearance orientation has no significant relationship with the quality of life but self-expressing capacity has a strong positive relationship with the quality of life like high school students. In sum, this study found that the most significant factor in improving the quality of life for Korean youths is authenticity, especially the ability to recognize and express one’s inner values, meanings, and emotions rather than appearance orientation.
  • 4.

    How Have Social Media Impacted Sociological Trend?

    Ju Young Kim | Denis Woo-Seon Kim | 2020, 54(2) | pp.147~191 | number of Cited : 0
    This paper explores how social media affect sociology. In particular, it examines how social media are manifested in sociological research trends from 2009 to 2018. For this purpose, it analyzes 45,873 articles in 147 sociological journals written in English, based on text mining and topic modeling. This research finds: first, that social media have rapidly become a key research theme since it appeared around 2010 in sociology journals, and secondly that social media have changed the dynamics of social movement. These findings imply that social media, explosively expanded in their link with smartphones, affect everyday life and thereby have become a source for sociologists to find new data unavailable in the past, to observe and analyze social phenomena with those new data. This paper contributes to the understanding of how social media have changed the research landscape of world sociology, grounded in empirical data.
  • 5.

    Two Theoretical Resources for the Nineteenth Century China’s Incorporation Process : A Strategy for Understanding China’s Capitalist Transition

    Sung Hee Ru | 2020, 54(2) | pp.193~226 | number of Cited : 0
    In light of the encroachment of Western powers and a sharp decline of the self-sustained Qing Empire, prominent accounts of China’s historical capitalism have tended to mark 19th-century China as a decline. In contrast to the dominant view that sees 19th-century China as a dark age, world-systems scholars, implicitly or explicitly, conceive a basic premise that 19th-century China’s incorporation process can be understood as not China’s decline but China’s transition to capitalism. To that end, I identify some particularly salient problems of China’s incorporation studies in the past. To present a way for overcoming the theoretical problems of past incorporation studies, I explicate ideas of Immanuel Wallerstein’s and Giovanni Arrighi on China’s incorporation process and how their ideas cast a fresh light on the understanding of 19th-century China in transition from a precapitalist economy to a capitalist economy for dynamism. This paper would help to rethink the 19th-century Chinese history and to figure out how the 19th-century global connectivity between China and the capitalist world economy has paves the way for China’s new developmental path.
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