Perception of Inequality and Societal Health: Analysis on Social Trust and Social Mobility

  • Hwang, Sun-Jae (Department of Sociology Chungnam National University)
  • Received : 2018.10.28
  • Accepted : 2018.11.15
  • Published : 2018.11.30


As societal interest in inequality increases in Korea, both public and academic discussion on inequality is also on the rise. In order to more effectively discuss the problems of rising inequality, however, it is essential to study the consequences and implications of inequality. This study examines one of the consequences of inequality, particularly on individuals - the relationship between an individual's perception of inequality and his/her evaluation of societal health, such as social trust and social mobility. According to a statistical analysis of the Korean Academic Multimode Open Survey for Social Sciences (KAMOS), those who perceive the level of income and wealth inequality in Korea as more unequal tend to have a lower level of trust toward Korean society and Korean people, as well as a lower expectation for both intra- and intergenerational social mobility. This study, which shows that rising inequality could have a negative impact at the individual level, not only extends the scope of the consequence-of-inequality studies from the society-oriented toward the individual-oriented, but it also has significant implications for the field, suggesting a new direction for future studies.


Supported by : National Research Foundation of Korea


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