Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Social Networks in Korean Society ( Summarized by: Zahrani B.)

1. Theoretical approaches to "non-material" forms of capital: cultural, symbolic, social capital in socialogical theory.

Then term culturalcapital represents th collection f non-economic forces uch as family background, social clas, varying investmen in ommitments to education different resources, etc. whic influence acadmic success. Bordieu dstinguishes thee forms of cultural capital.
  • The embodied state isdirectly link to and incorporated within the individual and represents what they know and can do. Embodied capital can be increased by investing time into self improvement in the form of learning. 
  • The objecteified state of cultural capital is represented by cultral goods, material, objects such as books, paintings, instruments or machines. They can be appropriated both materially with economic capital and symbolically via embodies caital.

  • Institutionalized state provides academic credentials and qualifcations which create a 'certificateof cultural competence which confers on its holder a conventional, constant, legally uaranteed value with respect to power.'

Bordieu states that the ability and talent of an individual is primarily determined by the time and cultural capital invested in them by their parents. Similarly, he argues that the scholastic yield from educational action depends on the cultural capital previously invested by the family.
"Bordieu defines social capital as. 'the aggregate of the actual or potential recources which are linked to possession of a durable network of more or less institutionalized relationships of mutual acquaintance and recognition.'(248) An individual's social caital is detremined by the size or thei relationship network, the sum of its umuated recouces (both cultur and economic), a how successfully (qucky) the indiviual ca set them it inmotion. Bordieu recognizes that all types of cpital can be derved from economic capital through varying efforts of transformation."

Social capital-may be crucially important not only for achieving but also for maintaning existing social/economic status. Social capital works as a set of networks connections and reciprocal mutual obligations that, in many cases, are essential for individual's survival in  highly network-centered society.

2. Social networks in South Korean society
Yeonjul, based on person's ascribed status (parental status) and various forms of cultural capital, especially such institutionalised forms of cultural capital as academic credentials. The strongest forms of yeonjul are regional (usually belonging to a group of the natives of one and the same town/province) and high school/university ties. Basically yeonjul works in the same way as social network: serve as the surest way to find a job, dodge a draft etc. "SNU Republic" and TK mafia are example of  two the strongest yeonjul in Korea. SNU is the most prestigious university and the strongest alumni yeonjul group, and TK is Taegu-Kyeongsang Province and as a strong regional yeonjul group. From the viewpoint of South Korean progressives, various yeonjuls solidify on the informal level the social borders and barriers of the class society --due to the strength of leading privileged yeonjuls, prospects of social advancement for a person without right class background (economic capital) to enter a right yeonjul, are very poor. Yeonjuls are often analysed as a form of "class alienation".

Four facts about social networks in Korea.
First, social network functions as an important mode of social exchange. People with higher socio-economics status tend to focus more on instrumental advantage of large network size, thus minimizing transaction costs, and getting information quickly and cheaply.
Second, social network in Korea shows high homopily, or very homogenous association within the line of sex, age, and region.
Third, social network functions as a reference group so that it asserts an enormous influence on individual's value and attitude.
Fourth, those who have wider range of networks tend to have less authoritian attitude, but they are more cautious and have deep distrust on judicial justice.


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