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The discussion of "new risk" in western countries in social policy arena started to gain attention from the late 1990s. Literature on post-industrialization and the new risk are based on studies regarding western welfare states and exclude Asian post-industrial societies. However, the process of deindustrialization in Asia has some different aspects then those of the western post-industrialized economies. Rapid economic development, the simultaneousness of deruralization, industrialization and deindustrializations, dramatic change in the family structure, the uniqueness of welfare state systems and the demographic change are a few among the many. Features of new risks in East Asian countries may be different or similar to the generally suggested new risk indicating new implications.

This study hypothesizes that the characteristics of new risk may vary in different post-industrial countries and examines the two Asian post-industrial economies. First, this paper commences its inquiry with a conceptualization of social risk with an attempt to critically rethink the argument of "new risk" and examines changes in the characteristics or aspects of social risk in Republic of Korea and Japan by adopting the concept of 'risk shift'. An innovative methodology fuzzy-set qualitative analysis (fs/QCA) is exploited to examine the risk shift from early 1980s to 2007. In sum, this paper aims to answer two questions: 1) What is new risk?, and 2) Are there new risk in Asian post-industrial countries, Rep. Korea and Japan? Secondary data from each countries governments and international organizations is used for the empirical analysis. Answering these questions contribute to the new risk discussion not only both theoretically and empirically but also methodologically.

Purpose: A recent epidemiological survey found a lifetime prevalence of depression in 6% of the Korean population. Regardless of type of disorder, only 11.4% sought mental health services in the past year prior to the survey. Efforts to facilitate professional help-seeking for depression requires an examination of the beliefs people have toward methods they may utilize to address the symptoms. This is especially important in the Korean context where people frequently employ a range of methods in a complex manner to alleviate various symptoms, which often interferes with effective intervention for the problem under attention. The present study investigates the general belief systems about the helpfulness of various ways to address depressive symptoms among Korean adults. It also examines the association between experiencing depression and receiving treatment and beliefs about the helpfulness of different methods.

Method: A probability sample of 1,700 adults between the ages 18 and 75 were recruited from Seoul metropolitan area for the study. A household survey was conducted by trained interviewers during a 6-week period in early 2009. Current depressive symptoms were measured by BSI-18, and history of seeking 'counselors' and/or 'doctors' for symptoms described based on the ICD-10 criteria for depression was asked. Respondents were asked to indicate the usefulness or harmfulness of a range of modern and cultural methods to address symptoms described in the vignette of a person suffering from early stage of depression.

Results: More than 25% of all respondents were categorized as having had depressive symptoms but less than 2% have ever sought professional help for depression. The comparison between three groups (had sought help, had a history of depression but had not sought help, no history of depression) indicated that those who had sought help rated medical treatment as helpful, and those who had not sought help rated family and friends as helpful. The latter group also preferred not receiving formal help for depression such as waiting to get better, finding ways to deal with it by oneself or ways to reduce stress by oneself.

Implications: Despite high percentage of lifetime and current depressive symptoms, Koreans are generally reluctant to seek formal or professional help. The group who have experienced depression but had not sought help preferred informal help or dealing it alone. It may be assumed that Koreans are not only are uncomfortable with formal help but may not be aware of the availability of such help. Ways to make various help seeking interventions more accessible should be explored. Awareness of public belief systems toward different interventions will be important in dealing with the expectations of individual person in need of help as well as in designing public education programs or mental health services of diverse modalities.

Aims: To compare inequality in health status by education and occupational type among Korean women by applying different approaches of measuring socioeconomic position - individual, conventional, dominance, and joint classification approaches.

Methods: A nationally representative sample of 5813 women aged 30-64 from the 2005 Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey was analyzed. Women were divided into two groups, employed women and homemakers. Self-rated health was used as the dependent variable. Education and Occupational type were used as socioeconomic position (SEP) indicators. Four approaches (individual, conventional, dominance, and joint classification) were applied to measure women's SEP. Age-adjusted prevalence of poor health status was calculated by using four approaches and compared between the employment status. Odds ratios (OR) and relative index of inequalities (RII) were calculated from logistic regressions.

Results: Prevalence of self-rated poor health was not different between employed women (58.2%) and homemakers (58.8%). However, disparities in health among employed women were higher than those in homemakers regardless of approaches to measure education and occupational types. RIIs of employed women (3.01) was higher than those of homemakers (2.07) when the individual approach to measure education was used. A lower proportion of women in high SEP among employed than homemakers seemed to explain this. We found that disparities were higher when we used the individual approach for measurement of education and conventional approach for measurement of occupation respectively.

Conclusions: Disparities in health among employed women were higher than those among homemakers regardless of measurement methods of education and occupational type. To avoid the dilution of the magnitude of inequalities among women, it is important to consider employment status.

Pension policy stratifies the older members of society for differences in life course experience. We expect to see differences in class, gender, health status and ethnicity among the elderly. However, the most significant disparities in pensions occur between men and women. Pension policy is designed to provide high pensions for long and uninterrupted labour market participation; this is more prevalent among men than women. The disadvantaged position of older women has received a fair amount of scholarly attention, especially with regard to the high correlation between this population and poverty

This article examines the gender impact of National Pension reforms in the Republic of Korea. The NP was introduced in 1988 and initially it covered firms with more than ten employees. It is a contributory employment-based system which calculates pensions based on earnings and contribution period. The NP expanded its coverage to smaller firms (five or more employees) in 1992, to those in rural areas in 1995, to the self-employed in urban areas in 1999 and to employees in workplaces with one or more employees in 2001.

In 2007, the Korean government introduced an income-tested basic old-age pension scheme paying flat-rate benefits. It also introduced credited pension coverage periods for child rearing and changed entitlement conditions for divorcees and widows and widowers. This paper examines the impact of these policy changes for individuals with shorter working lives and lower wages, for survivors and for the traditional social protection role played by the family in Korea. Findings indicate that the reforms have some positive features. However, the reforms still offer better value for those with higher earnings and an uninterrupted employment history, both of which are more characteristic of male workers. Moreover, the important income security role played by the family is still strongly embedded in the provisions and the protection available to survivors remains weak.

How do working women of the Puli[1] area regard the economic contribution they make to their families? How closely is their fortune bound up with that of the larger community, and how has the devastation wrought by the '921 earthquake' of 1999 and the current economic crisis affected the region's middle-aged working women? This research investigates the extent to which the employment opportunities of Puli's female workforce have been directly or indirectly affected by their life experience and the economic health of the larger community.

 

Interviews were conducted with middle-aged working-class female workers of the Puli area in order to gain insight into their socioeconomic standing in the home and community. A range of factors at play in the Puli area, including economic, social, and cultural structures, have been analysed in order to evaluate the role(s) these women play in their community.

 

It was found that not only are these working women subject to the pressures inherent to their multiple roles based on gender, home, and employment; with respect to employability, these women - although well suited to the local job market and work conditions - are facing gradually diminishing employment opportunities due to the economic crisis and outside competition such as recent female immigrants and work-study students at local universities. With these factors acting in combination with the difficulties linked to ageing, it is not hard to see that their working conditions are becoming increasingly unsatisfactory. Amid such a predicament, how can such working-class women increase their self‑awareness and make choices that will help them improve their lives?



[1] Puli Township, in central Taiwan, was the area hit hardest by the 1999 earthquake. The town's industry relies mostly on agriculture and tourism and hosts the state university where the author currently teaches.

Purpose: The ability to recognize mental health symptoms and beliefs about the effectiveness of various interventions have a significant impact on help-seeking behavior and mental health outcome. This study investigated the level of correct identification of depressive symptoms in the Korean public and their beliefs about the effectiveness of a range of methods to address symptoms.

 

Methods: A household survey was conducted on a probability sample of 1,700 adults between 18 and 75 years of age in early 2009. The respondents were asked to determine the nature of the problem described in the vignette of a person suffering from depressive symptoms, and to indicate usefulness or harmfulness of a range of modern and cultural problem-solving choices given.

 

Results: About 33% of the respondents identified correctly depressive symptoms. The ANCOVA showed that the rate was significantly higher in females than in males, and in 18-24 age group than other groups, controlling for educational level and depressive symptoms (X2=31.471***, df=7). The MANCOVA revealed that respondents believed primary support and talking to lay/professionals to be the most effective, cutting down stress and recharging energy moderately effective, and seeking medical professionals the least effective; methods focusing only on curing symptoms were believed to be harmful (Pillai's trace=.053***, Wilks' lambda.=948***, Hotelling's trace=.055***, Roy's largest root=.039***). Among the five age groups, the older three groups favored primary support and medical services than two younger groups (p<.001, p<.001), and the group of age 60 and over favored cutting down stress and recharging energy (p<.001); there was no significant difference between females and males in their beliefs about effectiveness of various methods (p>.05).

 

Implications: The current universal strategies for mental health prevention need to be further developed to fit specific gender and age groups. The public's belief on the effectiveness of talking to lay/professionals shed light on the interest of the general public in obtaining information, consultation, and/or services that are psychosocial in nature. This calls for an attention of the Korean mental health authorities on a nationwide initiative to diversify mental health resources as well as to build a mechanism through which individuals seeking out various methods converge into these resources to further mental health outcome in the Korean population.

Through the new implementation of Long-term care insurance, the marketisation of care services has noticeably progressed in South Korea. The number of service providers has significantly increased and the new market mechanisms such as competition and the abolition of government subsidy have been implemented.

 

The purpose of this paper is to look at the impacts of the marketisation of care services on service users and providers. In order to explore the issues, semi-structured in-depth interviews with 12 carers, 14 service providers (provider managers and care workers), and 12 care managers, were done in a pilot project area in Suwon city in South Korea, respectively.

 

The findings show that there were strong impacts of the marketisation of services in some ways. Most of all, as the competition among service providers got severe, it was difficult for them to find and increase cases which were eligible in LTCI. Nevertheless, the selective behaviour of service providers, cream-skimming (Le Grand and Bartlett, 1993) was found. Service users were selectively chosen by service providers in terms of service time, gender, and the financial conditions of older people. For service user, this seemed to lead the significant limitation of the access and use of care services in terms of equity. In order to tackle such limitation, the necessity of active intervention and role of care manager was suggested by the interviewees.

Earlier basic concepts used in comparative welfare research do not fit very well for evaluating how care services serve the needs of people. Mainstream concepts like decommodification refer to welfare cash benefits, not to support and care. Also defamilialization refers primarily to economic independence. Economic independence is certainly a major issue, in particular for gender equality, but care is also about other things than money. The basic interests of both, those needing care and those giving care, are not adequately reflected by either notion, decommodification or defamilialization.

The purpose of this paper is to look for, sketch and apply a concept that would suit better for the comparative study of care policies. As such a new conceptual approach, a concept of 'dedomestication' is suggested. 'Dedomestication' is defined as the degree to which people can participate in society, including participation in labour market as well as in social activities, outside their families. When analysing social care the question is whether and how much do care services promote this 'dedomestication'. The concept implies that, even though people (may) have a family life, they also have an opportunity to have a social life; they are not confined to the domestic sphere.

This is a policy objective that could possibly be shared by informal carers and disabled people as well as older people. The notion of 'dedomestication' is suggested here as a comparative perspective that does not separate the groups of disabled and older people and family carers from one another or show their needs as opposing to each other but that instead provides a common framework for research and development of support systems.

The paper will apply the 'dedomestication' approach in analysing and comparing social care systems of the Nordic countries, Britain and Taiwan.

Full paper: Kroger_2009_care_policies.pdf

Despite its connotation and despite the fact it is often perceived as a measure to abolish excessive state intervention, labour market deregulation has neither led to less state involvement in labour market affairs nor even less regulation. Instead, governments today appear to be much more active and to intervene and change labour market regulation more frequently than in the past. Compared to other developed countries that have implemented labour market reforms (and there are few that haven't) Germany and Japan stand out in that both opted for "asymmetrical deregulation" (Miura 2001), that is, near comprehensive deregulation of non‐regular employment combined with small changes to regular employment (Seishain koyou and Normalarbeitsverhältnis). Enacted in relatively stable economic circumstances and meant to enhance labour flexibility and to increase employment
(the "sunny side" that has at least been partially successful) this deregulation today is associated with rising social costs due to accelerated adjustment processes, insufficient benefit schemes and worsening employment prospects (the "dark side"). The global financial crisis can also be seen as the first major crisis of the newly deregulated labour markets and as the first serious test of the state's extended role as regulator and provider of welfare for those not covered by industrial relations. Although it is way too early to draw conclusions from current events, it is nevertheless worthwhile to look at the policy options available in terms of 'political feasibility' and institutional consistency with national state models (something where we find considerable differences between the two countries). The paper addresses this by putting current developments into the context of changes in labour market regulation and labour policy in the last 15 years.