Familialism in Transition: The Development of the Chilcare Regime in Korea

Saturday, July 19, 2014: 1:10 PM
Room: F203
Oral Presentation
Mi Young AN , Kookmin University, South Korea
This paper traces the development of the state’s intervention in childcare in the Republic of Korea. Building on Leitner’s typologies of familialism, the paper shows how Korea has altered childcare arrangements over time. The paper argues that state intervention in childcare in Korea has strongly relied on defamilisation, characterised by selectively subsidised market provision. The reforms of recent years have signalled a move away from selectivity and towards universality, and the redistribution of care costs have encouraged the role of the family as a childcare provider. These continuities and discontinuities are attributed to a top-down policy process and are driven by the imperatives of economic development and electoral competition. The paper also considers the implications of the childcare regime, with a focus on gender equality. The paper questions whether the market mechanism is the most effective method for facilitating women’s paid work and for achieving a regime centred on gender equality, and asks whether more attention should be paid to the redistribution of time, rather than money.