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Title: The political culture of university students in South Korea : a comparison of before the democratic transition and today
Author: Kim, Gunwoo
ISNI:       0000 0004 5922 3372
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis compares the political culture of university students in South Korea before and after the democratic transition in 1987. It identifies the changes in the following: the attitudes to politics, government and media; the political socialization process; the experience of political participation; and the reasons for political participation and non-participation. Qualitative analysis was used to analyse the data collected from interviews and surveys conducted on respondents who were university students in the 1980s and current university students. It was found that compared to university students in the 1980s, current university students held less intensely negative attitudes towards the government. However, although current university students were interested in politics, they were still distrustful of politicians, did not have a political party they supported and had low levels of perceived political efficacy and political participation. Based on these findings, this thesis examined three different types of theories to explain the changes in the political culture of university students. First, demand-side theories that focus on underlying socioeconomic changes to explain changes in the political culture were used to analyse the changes in the reasons for political participation and the changes in the political socialization process. Second, intermediary-side theories that emphasise the role of media were used to examine the changes in the attitudes towards the media and the experience of latent political participation. Finally, supply-side theories that focus on the supply of politics and governance were used to explain the changes in the other elements of political culture. Close examination into the workings of democracy in South Korea since the democratic transition in 1987 revealed that there were indications of cartelisation of the political party system, which explains the low levels of political trust and perceived political efficacy reported by current university students.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: JQ Political institutions (Asia, Africa, Australia, Pacific Area, etc.)