Education and Social Stratification in South Korea

Shin Arita. Translated by Shinil Cho

University of Tokyo Press

Education and Social Stratification in South Korea

Pub Date: August 2019

ISBN: 9784130572019

304 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $120.00£100.00

Education and Social Stratification in South Korea

Shin Arita. Translated by Shinil Cho

University of Tokyo Press

South Korea is noted for hard-fought competition in university admission exams, which are widely believed to determine one’s prospects and shape their takers’ entire lives. Long after graduation, do admissions exams still influence social circumstances? In this book, Shin Arita validates this belief with vast amounts of sociological data. He traces the mechanisms that show the test’s role in the formation of social strata.
East Asia is a hot spot where people’s educational enthusiasm is realized in rigorous competition for academic credentials; an outcome of which is students’ higher academic performances in international comparisons. South Korea is a country with a well-known intensive academic meritocracy. Does the academic meritocracy, however, accurately reflect the reality of the society? How is an ‘objective’ condition of the effect of academic credentials on one’s socioeconomic status converted into a ‘subjective’ condition of the effect of one’s academic credentials? Shin Arita, a comparative sociologist, renders cogent answers to these questions though his comprehensive quantitative analyses, which uncover accurate figures of Korean meritocracy. Readers can learn from Arita’s thorough investigations what roles education plays in shaping social stratification in a rapidly modernized society. This is a must-read book for those who are interested in the evolution of meritocracy. Takehiko Kariya, University of Oxford, author of Education Reform and Social Class in Japan

Part I. Theory, Structure, and System

Chapter 1. Theoretical Consideration of Academic Credential and Distribution of Position/Remuneration

Chapter 2. Social Hierarchical Structure and Industrialization in South Korea

Chapter 3. School Education Systems and Selection Systems of South Korea

Part II. Economic Remuneration, Occupational Rank, and Social Mobility

Chapter 4. Effect of Academic Credentials on Wage Level and Its Change

Chapter 5. Effect of Academic Credentials on Determination of Occupational Positions and Its Change: Analyzing the Job Engagement Process of New Graduates

Chapter 6. Educational Achievement, and Social Stratification / Stratification Mobility

Epilogue. Impression of Academic Credential-Based Society and the South Korean Society: The Academic Credential Effect, Education System, and Distribution Issue

About the Author

Shin Arita is a professor at the Unversity of Tokyo.