Just 20% of Koreans feel they can trust strangers

January 3rd, 2014 · Society, Surveys and Studies · 0 comments

Original article in Korean is at this link..

A survey has found that just two in ten Koreans believe they can trust strangers.

On the 1st, the National Statistical Office (통계청) published its 2013 study on social trends in Korea (titled 한국의 사회동향 2013), according to which the rate of Koreans saying that they feel positive about interpersonal trust was 22.3% in 2010.

The question asked in the survey was “how much do you expect that other people will use you or treat with good will without harming you?” In response to the question “do you think that you can generally rely on other people, or that you have to be careful?” the rate of the answers “generally trust” and “always trust” fell.

In other surveys on the same question, the top country for interpersonal trust in the OECD was Norway at 60%, followed by Denmark and Sweden at 50%. Korean was 10% below the 22-country OECD average of 32.0%, putting it in 14th place.

Korea also had low trust in public agencies. In 2011 the level of trust in the National Assembly was 31%, and trust in the central government was 56.1%.

However, trust in educational agencies and large businesses stood at 70.9% and 69.0% respectively, considerably high levels.

Regarding law and order and respect for the law, 26.4% believe that others do not properly follow the law, while 2.9% report the same about themselves, showing that people generally believe that they respect the law but others do not.

Regarding public order, other than for properly handling memorial rites (58.0%), no category received 50% approval, from security (31.9%) to banning smoking in public places (30.6%), keeping streets clean (26.0%), and managing traffic (26.0%).

“Big Data” and Korean drinking culture

September 6th, 2013 · Health and Environment, Surveys and Studies · 0 comments

Original article in Korean is at this link.

An epidemiological study based on health insurance “big data” has made findings related to excessive alcohol consumption.

The study, which will be presented by Yonsei University professor Ji Seon-ha at an international alcohol policy conference at COEX on October 8, involved the use of a database on a 1.3-million person cohort from 1992 to 2011, a period of 19 years, to study the influence of alcohol on health and medical expenditures.

Prof. Ji plans to present an analysis of the health benefits and detriments of alcohol on Koreans, medical expenses, the health benefits of not drinking, and reductions in medical bills.

The study’s findings are that, as with big data research on smoking, the data provide a foundation for various alcohol policies intended to reduce harm from alcohol such as lawsuits brought by victims against drinking culture, additional health fees levied on alcohol manufacturers, and legislation to create a system to provide funds relief of harm caused by alcohol.

Prof. Ji already published research on the same cohort with regard to smoking, relying on only overseas research, for the largest such Asian study. That research involved Koreans’ health outcomes and medical bills.

As with smoking, drinking was found to be a cause of psychiatric disorders, cardiovascular disease, liver, colon, esophogeal, and liver cancer, and other problems, but no study on the scale of the current had been performed in Korea before.

The WHO stated in a 2010 report that excessive alcohol consumptin is responsible for 2.5 million deaths worldwide per year, with 3.5% of all death and disability having alcohol as a cause, greater than the 3.7% of death and disability which is due to smoking.

Moreover, in Korea harm caused due to alcohol is quite heavy, and some are calling for a paradigm shift in alcohol policy.

The National Health Insurance Corporation announced that in the 2009 expenditures 6.1 trillion won was spent for direct and indirect treatment due to alcohol, and that amount has increased every year since.

Domestic “big data” on health insurance, which is the world’s largest, is promoting research under the government 3.0 policy trend of the Park Guen-hye administration, and it is expected that other business data will be involved in other research.

The NHIC holds a “big data” database containing 81.36 million data points on the hospital usage, medication, medical treatment,  check-up results, income and wealth, and family relations of all citizens.

99% of Korean teachers oppose expansion of student rights

January 26th, 2013 · Education and ESL, Surveys and Studies · 0 comments

Source article in Korean is at this link.

“My home is far away, how am I supposed to change my clothes and come back. Is it alright if I just go home?”

Last year at high school “A” in the Jungnang-gu area of Seoul, arguments erupted between teachers and students every morning. Teachers would catch students coming to school without wearing their school uniforms. However, enforcement was in name only, with teachers unable to do anything more pointed than issue demerites. It was also difficult for them to take away students’ cellphones even if they used them during class.

With the execution of the students’ rights ordinance in an atmosphere in which teachers have greater difficulty offering guidance to students, students have come to completely ignore their teachers. One principal said that “even the ordinance says that students have to wear uniforms, but students don’t even think of it. All last year it appeared to have had a big effect on students, who seemed influenced to think that ‘regulations have weakened’.”

The Seoul students’ rights ordinance will have been in effect for one full year as of the 26th, and a study has found that nearly every teacher in the Seoul area thinks it should be either amended or overturned. This is because the ordinance, teachers say, has placed every Seoul-area school into a situation to that at high school “A”.

On the 21st and 22nd the Dong-A Ilbo and the Korean Federation of Teacher’s Associations surveyed 705 teachers in the Seoul area, finding that 87.2% believe the ordinance has worsened conditions at their schools. Over half, 55.7%, say the situation is “considerably worse” and 31.5% say it is “worse”. 9.8% believe things are “unchanged”, while 1.6% and 0.3%, respectively, believe things are either “better” or “considerably better”.

Similarly, the view of teachers that there has been a very negative effect leads in to the view that the job of guiding students has gotten tougher as well. Asked about what has been “the largest change since the ordinance”, 73.8% said that “guiding students has become difficult and the number of problem students has increased”. 1.1% said that “the structure of the educational environment has become more respectful of human rights” and 3.5% said that “students’ rights and obligations have expanded”, illustrating the low number of positive responses.

Asked about what has been the greatest difficulty in guiding students, 38.7% said “disruptions in class”, 32.9% said “the absence of control methods due to the ban on corporal punishment“. Also, 87.0% of teachers said that, due to the ordinance, they have either directly experienced, or heard from other teachers, that students no longer listen to correct guidance.

Accordingly, 58.9% of respondents said that “the ordinance must be amended or altered” and 40.0% said that “the ordinance must be overturned”.

Kim Dong-seok, spokesman for the KFTA, said of the survey findings that “many teachers feel that the ordinance has had negative effects on student guidance that have been greater than its proper function of developing students’ rights and responsibilities.”

With critical voices growing louder, it appears that debate will continue to engulf the ordinance.

Currently, the Ministry of Science, Education, and Technology is pursuing, to the Supreme Court, litigation for affirmation of nullity over the Seoul students’ rights ordinance. The reason is the violation of school’s freedoms. Last October Lee  Dae-yeong, former acting superintendent of education in Seoul,  sent an official notice to certain schools advising them that they should amend their school regulation in accordance with the Elementary and Secondary Education Act rather than the ordinance.

Mun Yong-rin, who was elected superintendent of education last year after pledging to amend the ordinance, recently said that “because of the students’ rights ordinance there have been an increasing number of cases of teachers having difficulty guiding students. I will send the city council proposed amendments after determining precisely which clauses of the ordinance are problematic.”

Korean judges rated by lawyers

January 11th, 2013 · Legal news, Surveys and Studies · 0 comments

Source article in Korean is at this link.

On the 9th the Seoul Bar Association announced the results of its ratings of judges nationwide, finding that 48-year old Kim Dae-woong, chief judge of the Seoul Central District Courts, received a perfect score along with 9 colleagues who scored in the top 1% in the  survey of lawyers (2012년 법관평가 결과).

The latest survey saw 2,738 judges who served nationwide between January and December of 2012 rated by lawyers on a scale ranging up to 100 in three categories: fairness (four sub-items, 40 points); manners and kindness (two sub-items, 20 points); and judging skills (four sub-items, 40 points).

The lawyers who participated in the survey included 460 members of the Seoul Bar Association (9,128 members), who rated 978 judges. The average judge was rated 74.86.

The judical ratings were prepared for member lawyers to freely record their judgments in a judicial evaluation form prepared  on the basis of the judicial ethics codeby a judicial evaluations committee in the Seoul Bar Association.

The Bar Association announced that “to obtain accurate ratings, lawyers rated judges in cases in which they had directly participated, and ratings were recognized as valid only in cases for which the rater’s real name, date of birth, case number, and judge’s name were disclosed.”

The Bar Association highlighted the 10 judges who were rated in the top 1% of the 978 judges rated in 2012.Just as last year, to increase the objectivity and reliability of the ratings, they were chosen from among the 174 judges were rated by five or more lawyers.

The top 10 judges received an average score of 97.54, with Judge Kim Dae-woong being rated a perfect 100 by every lawyer.

Of the top 10 judges, seven are in the Seoul Central District Courts. In addition to Judge Kim, the list includes Judge Kim Dae-seong, Judge Kim Hwan-su, Judge Park Gwan-geun, Judge Lee Won-beom, Judge Seong Eon-ju, and Judge Ahn Hui-gil.

The judges in the bottom 10 were also rated by at least five lawyers. They received an average rating of 42.53. Three are in the Seoul High Court, one is in the Seoul Central District Courts, one is in the Seoul Eastern District Courts, and one is in the Seoul Western District Courts.

 The Bar Association did not publish the names of the bottom 10 judges out of respect for their courts, but did send the list to the Supreme Court.

The Bar Association announced that “the highest-rated judges in 2012 can be seen as exemplars of court administration, being respectful of parties in litigation and fostering courteous courtroom cultures.”

“However, Judge S, who has received an average rating of just 46.5 from 10 lawyers in consecutive years, needs to make several urgent reforms regarding a number of problems raised by the lawyers who have appeared before Judge S,” the Association said.

The Bar Association announced that “this association will be active in judicial ratings to raise the profile of excellent judges who work to bring about a better court system, and will take the lead in increasing the esteem of the entire legal field by promoting awareness of  judges who do not do so.”

South Korean university students fear North Korean cyber terror

December 11th, 2012 · Education and ESL, North Korea, Surveys and Studies · 0 comments

Original article in Korean is at this link.

6 in 10 university students in South Korea fear that an attack from North Korea is likely, a survey has found.

The survey found that the attack the students believed to be most likely was a direct denial of service (DDoS) attack.

On the 7th Yu Jae-du, a professor at Mokwon University, announced the findings of his research at the Digital Forensic Center of the Supreme Prosecutor’s Office in Seoul. The research, which was conducted in partnership with the Korean Association for Terrorism Studies and the agency for public security within the SPO, was published on the 9th under the title ‘How University Students Perceive North Korean Terrorism’.

According to the survey, out of 236 university students asked about the likelihood of North Korean terror attacks, 57% agreed they were likely.

53% agreed there was a danger of attack, with 59% believing the most likely attack was cyberterror, followed by a bomb attack (53%), a chemical or biological attack (47%), a nuclear attack (43%), and an attack on airplane (11%).

However, just 13% had a positive view of government responses to attacks, with 47% having had a negative view.

Asked about the credibility of terrorism policies, 48% had a negative view, quadruple the 12% with a positive view.

Prof. Yu said that “university students have grown up with and been familiar with computers from a young age, so they see cyberterror such as a direct denial of service attack as the greatest risk from North Korea.”

Also, Brandon M. Howe, a professor at Ewha Women’s University, published a separate paper analyzing modern terrorism and concluding that traditional state safety mechanisms are insufficient to explain modern terrorism.

Yun Hae-seong, a researcher at the Korea Institute of Criminology, discussed anti-terrorism laws in major countries such as the United States and the roles played by their investigative agencies, and their implications for anti-terrorism laws in our country.

The KATS and the SPO began their partnership in 2010, and the most recent event was attended by terrorism experts from National Intelligence Service, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the National Police Agency, the Defense Security Command, and elsewhere.

Survey: One-third of Korean workers bullied at office

August 2nd, 2012 · Economy and Worklife, Surveys and Studies · 0 comments

Original article in Korean is at this link.

Ostracism can happen anywhere. One in three office workers says “I have experienced being ostracized/bullied at the office.”

On the 31st of July the jobs website Saramin published the results of its survey of 3,035 office workers, finding that 30.4% reported having been ostracized or bullied at work.

The study that more women (34.1%) than men (27.6%) complained of having experienced such treatment.

When asked what happened in those situations, 57.2% said that “co-workers had secret conversations about me”, 34.7% said that “I was the only person not informed of company dinners and other gatherings”, 25.6% said that “people ignored me when I greeted them”, and 20.8% said that “i was given trivial work such as running errands.”

The average time period of the episodes was seven months, the study found. 43.2% of the episodes were instigated by superiors, followed by senior co-workers, same-level co-workers, and junior co-workers.

33.5% of office workers said that they had quit jobs because of stress over being ostracized or bullied. 8.6% sought mental counselling.

SKorea survey: More women than men regret marriage

May 24th, 2012 · Society, Surveys and Studies, Women in Korea · 0 comments

Original article in Korean is at this link.

A study has found that among adults living in Seoul, women are less satisfied with their marriages than are men.

The Seoul city government has placed on its homepage the results of a study titled “Hopeful Seoul Social Index” (희망 서울 생활지표). The study found that 73.4% of the male respondents were satisfied with their wives, but only 64.9% of wives were satisfied with their husbands.

The rate of spousal satisfaction was 8.5% higher for husbands than wives, while the dissatisfaction rate was 4.1% lower.

Also, 44.7% of husbands and 41.7% of wives said that “in our relationship we share values in how we live our lives.”

14.2% of husbands and 16.6% of wives said that they do not, however, showing at least a slight difference between husbands’ and wives’ perceptions.

Older couples were somewhat less likely to perceive that they share common values, and the gender gap in that perception increased.

The study was conducted as part of the Seoul Survey to collect data on how Seoul citizens feel about their lives.

The study was placed online at http://socialindex.seoul.go.kr on the 22nd.

Respondents were surveyed on 15 topics with 300 questions.

SKorea: Teacher survey reveals discontent

May 14th, 2012 · Education and ESL, Surveys and Studies · 0 comments

Original article in Korean is at this link.

A survey has found that eight in 10 teachers in Chungcheongnam-do say that their work duties negatively affect their lessons.

Ahead of Teacher’s Day, the Chungcheongnam-do branch of the Korean Teachers & Education Workers’ Union announced the results of its e-mail survey of 907 local teachers, conducted from the 24th through 31st of last night.

The teachers who participated  said that paperwork had increased from last year and said that miscellaneous duties related to paperwork, school evaluations, student guidance, and conflicts with managers made their jobs difficult.

A mere 0.3% said that their duties had been decreased following promises of such from the provincial office of education, while 20.7% said they “feel no decrease” and 77.1% actually said it “continued to increase the same as ever”.

Asked about the effectiveness of education on the “five practices of moral people” (바른품성 5운동), 6.5% called it effective while 73.1% said it was not helpful.

Also, 68.8% said that the standardization of high schools has been mostly good, with 11.1% calling it at least 70% good.

83% said that they prepare their students for the nationl school standards evaluation, and 89.4% said that the multiple homeroom teacher system does not work well.

The report concludes with a list of changes most teachers would like to see implemented by the provincial office of education.

SKorea: Most mixed race kids adopt Korean identity

April 20th, 2012 · Foreigners, Society, Surveys and Studies · 0 comments

Original article in Korean is at this link.

A study has found that 73.4% of multicultural children consider themselves “Korean”.

On the 18th the National Youth Policy Institute (한국청소년정책연구원) published the results of its study of childrens’ and teenagers’ health. It was formally presented the next day.

From August to October of last year the Institute surveyed 1,502 multicultural teenagers in the fourth grade of elementary school in 16 cities and provinces nationwide, finding that 73.4% consider themselves to be “Koreans”.

Just 3% said they consider themselves “of the country where my foreign parent was born” and 21.5% consider themselves “both Korean and foreign”.

Further, 80% of them are proud of having a foreign-born parent.

The study also found that their psychological development is harmed by their families’ low economic status, but when that economic status improves then their ambition, self-esteem, and school performance also improve.

Their psychological development level, resilience, and adaptation to school life were found to be lower than other vulnerable populations and their school performance was extremely low.

The Institute said that “unlike the image of them in Korean society, multicultural teenagers see themselves as Korean… this study shows that the monolithic, inadequate image of them is seriously misinformed.”

SKorean survey: Appearance-based discrimination is widespread

February 29th, 2012 · Legal news, Society, Surveys and Studies · 0 comments

Original article in Korean is at this link.

Four in ten say they have suffered discrimination in hiring on the basis of their looks, which cost them either job opportunities or caused them to receive lower salaries, a survey has found.

The jobs website Career announced on the 29th the results of its survey of 583 jobseekers, finding that that 42.4% believe they have been the victims of discrimination based on their appearances and have lost job and salary opportunities that way.

Of those lost opportunities, 53.4% were “absolutely never being hired”, 35.6% were “being evaluated by my appearance more than my education, grades, or talents”, and 25.5% were “being discrimincated against compared to other applicants”.

20.6% said “I have been told rude statements about my appearance” and 16.2% said “I have been asked questions related tomy appearance”.

55.9% said that they had “just put up with it”.

However, 31.2% said they “didn’t join the company despite beign accepted”, 7.3% “lost weight or had plastic surgery”, and 4% “complained strongly”.

85.2% of all respondents said that one’s appearance affects one’s job search.

49.5% believed it had a “significant” influence while 29.4% said it was “very significant”, a total of 78.9%. 20.1% said it was neither significant nor insignificant, 1% said it was of “low significance”, and none said it was “very insignificant”.