SEOUL, March 21 (Korea Bizwire) — People with lower income and educational backgrounds are more reluctant to raise their voices in society, a study indicated Monday.
The Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs conducted a survey of 8,174 people between the ages of 19 and 59 and asked them whether they talk to others about their own rights or those of their family members being violated.
The results showed that only 77.6 percent of high school graduates did so, falling below college graduates (85.8 percent), and those with graduate degrees or higher (91.3 percent).
The response rate was the lowest among those in the lowest 20 percent income tier (74.7 percent).
People with higher educational backgrounds were more motivated to join demonstrations and rallies.
The polarization of people in social and political participation is largely attributed to “political efficacy” or the capacity and the ability of the government to adhere to public demands, which differs by one’s income and educational background.
Asked whether their voice would not affect the works of the government whatsoever, only 20.7 percent of high school graduates or below and 24.6 percent of those in the lowest 20 percent of the income tier disagreed.
This was far lower than among those with graduate degrees or higher (37.5 percent), or those in the top 20 percent income tier (35.2 percent).
Asked whether they would commit to voting, only 43.5 percent of high school graduates agreed, compared to 70.2 percent for those with graduate degrees or higher.
Only 46.8 percent of those in the lowest 20 percent income tier agreed while it was higher for those in the top 20 percent income tier (59.7 percent).
“Low social and political participation among vulnerable groups may result in under-representation, which would hinder the process of reflecting their views and interests in decision making,” the report said.
H. M. Kang (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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