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Nonstandard Workers’ Perspectives on Social Rights

Lee, Joohee 1

1이화여자대학교

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ABSTRACT

The number of nonstandard workers in Korea has consistently increased after the Asian financial crisis of 1997. The increasing size of nonstandard workforce raised concern because these jobs provide few benefits and social insurance, and lacked guarantees of long‒term employment. Conducting intensive in‒depth interviews with 80 nonstandard workers, this study investigates their needs for social rights. Most interviewees demonstrated their preference for a strong welfare state, even if it requires high levels of taxation. They were also well aware of welfare responsibilities as well as welfare rights. However, a minority of respondents preferred tax cuts and a smaller welfare state, despite the fact that they belong to the lower socio‒economic group among nonstandard workforce. In addition, interviewees who maintained a high level of political participation also preferred the same smaller welfare state. The results of this study suggest that nonstandard workers’ needs for strong welfare state might not be easily realized due to these divisions among themselves.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.