Effects of Socioeconomic Status and Gender on Valued Qualities and Future Success in South Korea

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The purpose of this study is to examine stereotypes related to gender and socioeconomic status among college students in Korea (N= 488) where values, gender norms, and paths to success are rapidly changing. Each respondent read a vignette about a hypothetical student whose gender and socioeconomic status were manipulated, and was asked a series of question regarding the hypothetical student's personal qualities, hopes for going and living abroad, current achievement, and future educational and employment success. We found salient SES differences but very few gender differences. High-SES students who possessed qualities valued in Western countries (tolerance, self-expression, imagination) were more likely to be seen to succeed academically and employment-wise, have more experience and desire to study abroad, and ultimately have more agency in their daily lives. Traditionally positive qualities associated with East Asian countries (independence, hard work, thrift, determination/perseverance, feeling of responsibility) were attributed to low-SES students.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)733-756
Number of pages24
JournalKorea Observer
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences


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