Why do women value credentials? Perceptions of gender inequality and credentialism in South Korea

Sung won Kim, Cong Zhang, Hyeyon Chung, Yunjung Kim, Su Yon Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


This mixed methods study investigates how perceptions of gender inequality can positively predict credentialist attitudes and beliefs for women based on a survey of 488 college students from six universities with an approximately equal proportion of men and women, and follow-up interviews with 18 of these respondents in 2018-19. 11 men and 7 women were interviewed. The findings suggest that women are more likely to value credentials in the face of discrimination at work because they believed credentials could help them overcome their gender disadvantage, catch up with men, and minimize their risk of failure, as education was perceived to provide equal opportunities for men and women.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102158
JournalInternational Journal of Educational Development
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Mar

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Korea and the National Research Foundation of Korea ( NRF-2018S1A5A8027215 ). We would like to express our gratitude for the research assistance provided by Youn Jihyun, Lee JiEun, Lee JiEun, and Lee Hyunjae. Appendix A

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science


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