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Survey Shows Korean Lifestyle Changes

Posted November. 26, 2007 03:14,   


“By and large, my goal is leading a happy life”; “I’m always conscious of my weight and body shape”; “Money is important. It is no sin to like money.”

A recent survey revealed that Koreans now put more emphasis on their personal life, such as leisure, health and personal asset management, compared to 10 years ago, when the country was hit hard by the 1997 financial crisis.

Cheil Communications, which conducted a survey on 3,600 individuals aged 13 to 59 in major cities between April and June 2007, released survey results on Sunday that indicate changes in the lifestyles of Koreans in comparison to those shown in similar surveys carried out in 1998 and 2003.

The survey shows a heightened interest in culture, art, fashion, cosmetics, hobbies, and investment. Although Koreans have become less interested in inter-Korean issues, transportation, local politics, crimes, and inflation, they now pay more attention to stocks, fashion, real estate and education.

With regard to local politics, only 13.8 percent of those surveyed answered that they were interested in politics, down from 28.7 percent in 1998. In contrast, interest in education and real estate, respectively, jumped from 25.2 percent to 43.3 percent, and from 18.2 percent to 32.5 percent.

The survey also indicates that people have clearly become more interested in personal life matters, such as self-development, family, and recreation.

When asked if their life goal is having a happy life, 72.7 percent of respondents said, “Yes,” up from 66.9 percent in 2003. With regard to self-development, 25.1 percent answered that they spend some of their spare time for self-development, up from 22.1 percent in 2003.

Cheil Communications defined Koreans living in 2007 as “SWITCHing,” named after the initials of English words that symbolize each generation.

It named Koreans aged between 13 and 18 years old as the “S (Speak-Up) Generation” who express themselves without hesitation; those between 19 and 24 years old as the “W (Why not) Generation” who lead changes; and between 25 and 29 years old as the “I (Intimacy) Generation” who regard co-workers as a part of an extended family.

In addition, it classified people between 30 and 39 years old as the “T (Task-free) Generation” who long for economic and psychological freedom; between 40 and 49 years old as the “C (Conscious) Generation” who are rational and organized; and those between 50 and 59 years old as the “H (Handy) Generation” who yearn for a comfortable life.

With regard to “ideals and practicality,” and “personal pleasure and social participation,” the company classified people in six categories: the “Culture-Oriented Group”; “American Drama Fan Group”; “Eco-Friendly Group”; “Capability-Focused Group”; “Information Disseminating Group”; and “Internet Post Reply Group.”

A majority of the “American Drama Fan Group” are men with white-collar jobs, while a significantly more number of the “Culture-Oriented Group” are women. “Eco-Friendly Group” is largely comprised of adults and the “Internet Post Reply Group” is mostly young students.