90% of Young Koreans Think Nepotism Will Ruin the Country

From Daum:

9 out of 10 Young Adults Believe ‘Korea is Unfair’

Many young people believe ‘deep-rooted nepotism will ruin society’. Many more young people hold this belief compared to those who are 60 and above; they also think that bureaucratic cartels brought about the Sewol disaster. [Note: nepotism in this article refers to unofficial connections not only between family members]

Translated version of a survey that 1,000 adult men and women took.

Translated version of survey that 1,000 adult men and women took.

The Sewol disaster on April 16 was an incident that directly exposed Korean society’s deep-rooted evils such as the backwards safety culture and immoral bureaucratic cartels. The evil that must be skimmed first is the deeply-rooted public ‘nepotism’ stemming from the ‘Ministry of Maritimafia’ (Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries + Mafia) and ‘Bureacrafia’ (Bureaucrat + Mafia), which are allusions to the Italian mafia. A survey has shown that practices which achieve or overlook certain situations depending on connections exist not only in public society, but also in politics, economics, law, and sports. These practices are said to be turning Korea into an ‘unfair nation’ and ‘factional republic.’

The Segye Times recently collaborated with the Asan Institute for Policy Studies (Director: Jebong Ham) and conducted a one-day analysis beginning with an ‘awareness and understanding of nepotism’ survey targeting 1000 young adult males and females across the country. The results showed that 9 out of 10 young adults, who will become Korea’s next generation of leaders, believe ‘Korean society is influenced by school, regional, family, and personal connections’ and ‘fairness is not possible.’ These response rates were unusually higher than those of the older generation, indicating that measures to establish a fair society are urgently needed.

When asked about the effect of nepotism on social fairness, 78.5% of respondents answered that it resulted in society being ‘not fair’ (not very: 50.0%, not at all: 28.5%). 18.0% said society was ‘fair’ (mostly: 16.0%, very: 2.0%) regardless of nepotism.

As respondents’ ages lowered, more and more of them said that society had become unfair because of nepotism. In particular, 92.8% of people in their 20’s claimed that society is unfair. This number was a surprising 40.1 percentage points higher than the 52.7% of people 60 years or older. The other percentages were 86.7%, 83.4%, and 76.9% for people in their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s, respectively. Director of the Public Opinion Studies Center in Asan Institute for Policy Studies, Kim Jiyoon, said, ‘This seems to reflect the dissatisfaction stemming from anxiety about the future due to the terrible unemployment crisis and the fact that it is difficult to succeed in society through individual efforts or by efforts alone. This is a serious problem, since the young generation, the generation that will carry our country’s future, has an extremely negative perception of fairness.’

The reason why the majority of respondents, including young adults, said society is unfair is because ‘in the past year, they or an acquaintance was disadvantaged due to connections during job hunting, promotion, or business.’ This opinion accounted for 36.9% of responses, which is quite significant.

Those who were disadvantaged claimed that this was mostly caused by ‘school connections’ (self: 52.0%, acquaintance: 55.9%), followed by ‘regional connections’ (27.8%, 28,1%) and ‘family connections’ (11.2%, 10.2%). Many pointed out that a considerable number of officials from the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries ship vessel safety department and sailors/engineers from the shipping industry who were involved in the Sewol disaster had graduated from specific colleges, yet did not monitor or control the situation properly.

This survey was conducted via computer interview (CATI) and has a 95-percent confidence level with plus or minus 3.1 percent.

Different types of connections in Korean society, clockwise from top center: emotional, geographic, social, social (related to academics), colleagues, religious, familial, school ties

Different types of connections in Korean society, clockwise from top center: emotional, geographic, social, social (related to academics), colleagues, religious, familial, school ties

Comments from Daum:

프로토콜님 (4934 upvotes at the time of translation)

If the world had been fair, the Sewol accident would not have happened!

동글이mm님 (responding to above)

Like I said, we must get rid of public officials’ preferential treatment. There are no examinations which they are not exempt from. Is this the 1970s? Tax accountant exam, lawyer exam, customs exam, firefighting management exam, engineer exam, cultural assets exam, etc. Regular folks have to rack their brains studying for these tests, but if public officials work for a certain period, the first part of the test is exempt. Then the second part is a piece of cake, so they have no worries.

southernstar님 (responding to above)

How about the view that regards the people who demand fairness as uncool people obsessed with politics? If all they do is complain but don’t do anything to change it, who will do it? You can’t always excuse yourself.

stone님 (responding to above)

If you feel that way, vote properly! One shot one kill!! Just take down the stronger party every time you vote! Doesn’t take a lot. Just take down those with the ‘Sae’ [Saenuri Party] character twice and they’ll be trembling in front of the citizens the third time!

PANDA님 (responding to above)

If you cry unfairness, they will call you a lefty or a commie.

하고말꺼야두고봐님 (4616 upvotes at the time of translation)

(2014, The Great Sewol Massacre) The people do not need a president who does not take responsibility for the citizens’ lives. The reason why being the president is difficult is because the responsibility is heavy. The immense authority and high salary, the gourmet meals, private jets, and bodyguards. All of those come with the price tag of responsibility.

hlhk님 (responding to above)

Your method of criticism is really low. ‘The Great Massacre…’ tsk tsk

트럭보이님 (responding to above)

Those with power in the Ruin of Korea [intentional misspelling of 민] don’t care about citizens. They just have power. Ilbe trash, conservative nutjobs, pro-Japanese monkeys, Yankee suck ups… wake the hell up. We can’t go on like this. If we do, our miserable nation will soon be underwater.

Connections help people advance in society, which some people believe is unfair

Connections help people advance in society, which some people believe is unfair

keeneye님 (1587 upvotes at the time of translation)

Honestly, I think that asking 60+ year olds about societal fairness is not a good idea because they can’t feel the unfairness. Their standard of morality is different.

선비님 (1347 upvotes at the time of translation)

I can particularly sense that from the Park Geun-hye administration.

kimga님 (1089 upvotes at the time of translation)

Those in their 50’s must not be in their right minds ke ke

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  • Chucky3176

    “It’s a sin to cry unfairness. Damn commies.” comment translation is off.

    If you cry unfairness, you’ll end up being a lefty or a commie”. is correct.

  • Peter Old

    I get frustrated at poor “social science” in the media. It gives science a bad name. Why not summarise the work from published academics on the subject? Another pathetic excuse for journalism from the portals. The article begins by mentioning the Sewol… How obvious is the journalistic intent?

    What is the purpose of this article?… To say Nepotism is unfair and life is too competitive and our culture is backwards and here is the proof at 95% confidence…

    This data merely indicates is that younger generations perceive nepotism as unfair in comparison to the older… What I find interesting is the big difference for the 60 and overs. I wish there was more detail on this.

    Though I do find these articles interesting. Tabloid trash like this gives a good insight to mentality to the people.

  • If any young hot girls are interested in sleeping with me in order to join a new K-Pop band…please contact me if you want to become rich and famous.*

    • Doge Wallace


    • Sutnami

      Nobody is interested in sleeping with you, you should post a pic of your real self, it would be as funny as the one you have now.

      • its is a real photo…Korean plastic surgery is the best in the world

        • Sutnami


          • Doge Wallace

            My guess is that he looks something like Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons…

        • wrle

          Yep, that’s why the Chinese are the biggest customers at Korean surgeons. Going in for a quick fix to get their “Korean look”.

  • Ash

    People hates nepotism unless they can benefit from it.

  • Chucky3176

    Speaking of the Great Sewol Ferry Massacre, here’s a tribute video made by a surviving classmate of the 250 highschool kids who died on that ship. This is a farewell message to her friends who were no older than 15, 16, and 17.


    The Ansan Danwon highschool is located in a working class neighborhood in Ansan city, Seoul. This tragedy wiped out entire classes of grades 10 and 11. The graduation ceremonies will be empty of students, due to the greed, nepotism, and selfishness rampant in Korean society.

    RIP to the victims.

    • Chucky3176

      So it looks like this video is starting to go viral, about 20,000 views in only couple of hours.

      • Rutim

        If they had posted it like you did on every site in the Internet that’s nothing special… Someones gonna get some $$$ from this ;)

        • GUEST

          Fucking nip mother fucker…

          Go choke on your boyfriends cock and die

          • Bengbeng

            Why the fuck did you have to imply his homosexuality as if it was a bad thing? Don’t turn it into an insult you fucking bumpkin bigot.

    • Rutim

      > Great Sewol Ferry Massacre

      after all it’s a country which uses the name of 大韓民國 so even tragedies must be ‘Great’ and start with capital letters!

      Long live the Great Republic of Korea!

      • oppa

        with the shortest peen length average in asia, one cannot be surprised.

        • Ken

          Unless you are gay and/or female, why does the size of another mans penis matter anyway? Bringing up penis size doesn’t do anything but tell me what you prefer.

          • Sillian

            Except that the troll’s claim isn’t even true. It was debunked years ago but the desperate trolls just can’t let go of it.

        • Guest

          everyone knows the japanese male has the smallest wee wee.

        • wrle

          Apparently, oppa loves big shlongs.

      • Jayu

        Lol for a guy that gets wrecked in every argument, i guess taking a jab at the name of a country is the best you can do in this situation.

        • guest

          I’m not gonna say whether or not this is the Japanese rutim, but there is someone else who sometimes posts using the same name, often in a way that would make him look bad, and written nothing like how he writes. Also on articles having nothing to do with Japan, which is what at the real rutim primarily posts on. As both of those criteria have been met here…. I’ll let you decide.

          • annabella

            regardless, its clear that all rutims are trolls.

      • Sillian

        That trolling is just too random. Maybe you are not even the Japanese nationalist Rutim who regularly posts around here.

      • Nitrostat

        Haha to stoop so low… Even for you rutim… If thats who you say you are…

  • I GUESS…

    “If the world had been fair, the Sewol accident would not have happened!”

    the world is fair. Every country have its own fair share of tragedies.

  • rarnedsoum

    Other places, such as Japan and Russia have the same problem.
    Its called corruption.

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