The transformation of family patterns in advanced capitalist societies has received much attention in academic and popular writing. Juxtaposed to the relatively positive appraisal of “modern families” in Europe, alarm and anxiety characterize the tenor of the discourse surrounding family change in East Asia. This project draws on the case of South Korea to better understand the mechanisms driving the diversification of family structures. The chapters that constitute the first half of the book aim to show that by 1997, on the eve of national financial ruin, the structural foundations for family change were already established with dramatic economic, political, and cultural transformation. The chapters in the second part of the book explore the impact of neo-liberalization and precarity on new family forms, including single-parent households, multicultural families, unmarried singles, and (the isolation of) senior citizens.
Dr. Paul Chang is Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at Harvard University.
This event is co-sponsored by the East Asian Studies Center.