Full title: A Socio-psychological Approach to Low Fertility: Who Can’t, and Why Can’t They Dream of Marriage and Childbearing?
Seokho Kim | Seoul National University
This study explores perceptions of Korean young people on marriage and childbearing, and why abandonment of marriage and childbearing is motivated. The current study starts from the premise that it is necessary to examine awareness of harsh reality and anxiety about uncertainty of the future as well as the scarcity of available resources in order to explain the abandonment of marriage and childbearing. In addition to the original focus of youth discourse on socioeconomic factors such as job and family income it was assumed that considering socio-psychological factors such as perception of harsh reality and dreams and future prospects would also contribute to understanding abandonment of marriage and childbearing. Our analysis confirmed the importance of anxiety about an uncertain future as a factor in explaining abandonment of marriage and childbearing by young people, besides the scarcity of socioeconomic resources such as jobs and family income. It was also shown that subjective perception of one’s present and future has a greater effect on the dream and possibility of marriage and childbearing of young people, rather than objective possession of resources. In particular, controlling the forecasted future class location and the possibility of social mobility canceled out the effect of objective and subjective perceptions about the present. This implies that young people who judge the future based on the present tend to leave marriage and childbearing out of consideration due to the difficulty of forecasting the future. Pessimism for the future leads to abandonment of marriage and childbearing by young people. Accordingly, it is noteworthy to point out that policy enforcement for young people to possess an optimistic forecast about the future and a sense of security is required the most for solving the issue of low fertility.
young generation, marriage, socioeconomic inequality, socioeconomic status of parent, support by parent, childbearing, low fertility, abandonment of marriage and childbearing, prospect for future among young pepole
Survey Research, 23:2, 1-33,