Korean Women’s Politicization: The Effects of Public/Private Constructions

Lee Aie-Rie, Sue Tolleson Rinehart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This paper examines the current politicization of women in Korea by advancing a theoretical argument that the privatization of women, whether from traditions of Confucianism in Korea or liberal patriarchalism in the U.S., hsa had similar inhibiting effects. Also examined are women elites and certain demographic characteristics in Korea. Our findings indicate that Korean women in the early 1980s were neither politically engaged as their American counterparts have often been found to be, nor markedly more likely to participate in political activities with improvements in their socio-economic standing. The present work and other studies, however, economic standing. The present work and other studies, however, evince a growing struggle among Korean women trying to reconcile one Western import, namely women’s rights, with everyday realities in Korean political life. Because Korea’s Confucian socio-political structure has not caught up with women’s attitudinal changes, a resulting phenomenon of "institutional lag" characterizes the gap between the practice of Korean politics and women’s, particularly middle class women’s, desires for a broadened political role.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-83
Number of pages31
JournalWomen and Politics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 14 1995


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