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Family centeredness and strong work orientation are likely to characterize the Korean elderly today. However, it is also true that conflict and tension underlies this modal life of the elderly. The main inquiry in this paper derives from the concern that the contradiction of family and work ties of the Korean elderly evolves in the distinct economic and social context of family/labor centered and age divided society. Tension of generational relation is discussed in the context of the incoherence between diversified values and calculus inherent family relations and institutional enforcement of family centeredness. Contradictory facets of the intensified early retirement in formal employment and the delayed exit from work among many old people is examined in the context of labor inequality, poor social security system, gender divided family and work worlds, and prevailing negative attitude toward being old and the elderly.


Family centeredness and strong work orientation are likely to characterize the Korean elderly today. However, it is also true that conflict and tension underlies this modal life of the elderly. The main inquiry in this paper derives from the concern that the contradiction of family and work ties of the Korean elderly evolves in the distinct economic and social context of family/labor centered and age divided society. Tension of generational relation is discussed in the context of the incoherence between diversified values and calculus inherent family relations and institutional enforcement of family centeredness. Contradictory facets of the intensified early retirement in formal employment and the delayed exit from work among many old people is examined in the context of labor inequality, poor social security system, gender divided family and work worlds, and prevailing negative attitude toward being old and the elderly.


가족중심성과 강한 노동참여 지향은 현재 한국 노년의 심리를 특징화한다. 그런데 노년에 대한 이러한 정형적 인식 이면에 갈등과 긴장이 크게 자리잡고 있다. 이 논문은 한국 노인이 가족과 노동에 모순되게 연계되어있는 현상을 가족중심적이며 연령층화된 경제 사회 구조에서 맥락적으로 살펴보아야 한다는 문제의식에서 출발한다. 부모와 자녀 세대간 가치와 이해가 다양화되고 있는데 가족중심성을 제도적으로 강제하는 행위와 제도의 비조응 관계에서 세대긴장이 더 심화되고 있다고 논의하고 있다. 공식부문에서 조기정년이 심화되고 있는 동시에 많은 노년층이 오래도록 노동에 남아 있는 현상이 공존하는 것은 노동 불평등, 빈약한 사회복지, 성분리된 가족과 노동세계, 그리고, 나이 듦에 대한 부정적인 인식을 확대 생산하는 문화 구조와 밀접하게 연관된다고 논의하고 있다.