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Globalisation and the working class in South Korea : Contestation, fragmentation and renewal

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  • Globalisation and the working class in South Korea
  • Shin, Kwang-Yeong
  • Taylor & Francis


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Title Globalisation and the working class in South Korea
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Sub Title

Contestation, fragmentation and renewal

Material Type Articles
Author(English)

Shin, Kwang-Yeong

Publisher

[Oxferdshire]:Taylor & Francis

Date 2010-03
Journal Title; Vol./Issue Journal of Contemporary Asia:vol. 40(no. 2)
Pages 20
Subject Country South Korea(Asia and Pacific)
Language English
File Type Link
Original Format pdf
Subject Social Development < Employment
Holding Stockholm University

Abstract

This paper explores the impact of globalisation on the working class in South Korea. Globalisation in South Korea has been distinctive in that it has taken place during the transition to democracy. While democratisation has empowered workers to organise, globalisation has undermined the strength of the organised workers, segmenting regular workers from contingent workers. The abrupt neo-liberal economic reforms that followed the financial crisis of 1997-98 totally transformed the structure of the labour market, generating massive numbers of contingent workers who are vulnerable to economic insecurity and social risks. Under the system of company unions, the militant economic unionism that developed among unions in big corporations demonstrated its limitations in promoting the interests of contingent workers. As the struggles of contingent workers have expanded, social movement unionism, which unifies labour issues and social issues, has emerged as an alternative to militant economic unionism of unions composed of regular workers. (The rest omitted)