By Nicola Anne Jones (auth.)
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Additional resources for Gender and the Political Opportunities of Democratization in South Korea
Accordingly, without either politically salient economic elites or a "mobilized" labor movement, the rationale for the military's involvement in politics was distinct from its Latin American peers. " (Cumings, 1997: 312) Historical Constraints • 27 This humbling of business groups further solidified the relative autonomy of state policy planners and opened a two-decade window during which most key levers of economic growth and (re)distribution were state controlled. Although the relationship between the military Government and the chaebol (business conglomerates) became close-knit, the balance of power was consistently weighted in favor of the state until at least the mid-1980s thanks to rapid economic growth fueled by cheap, statedirected credit (Moon and Lim, 2001).
5 Indeed the culturally sanctioned subordination of women became particularly important in efforts to strategically remold the labor force and carry out repressive labor control techniques. 6 As sociologist Chang (1995) argues: ... gender-differentiated class restructuring was not automatically established but purposefully produced by the state and business elites to ensure a timely supply of marginalized workers and to stabilize social mechanisms oflabor exploitation. (75) Because women's employment was generally constructed as temporary, before forced retirement upon either marriage or childbirth, women worked consistently longer average hours than men.
The process, however, is often nonlinear, resulting in a complicated mix of old authoritarian values/practices and new democratic principles (Helgesen, 1997). In Korea, the transition resulted less from the outright rejection of the military regime's economic and social policies than from citizens' demands for economic growth with political freedom. Public resentment toward the authoritarian past was thus neither as intense nor all-encompassing as in other democratizing polities. Because the authoritarian regime's economic model and anti-Communist doctrine were not discredited, Korea's new democratic government had only limited incentives to reorient the country's economic model and expand the welfare state.