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Survey Reveals Tendency to Shift Blame

Posted November. 26, 2005 07:19,   

Updated January. 01, 1970 09:00

한국어

The majority of Korean tends to think that they do not discriminate against handicapped people and that they abide by law, while others don’t.

“I’m doing fine; it’s the others that are the problem,” some say.

In addition, according to a survey, one out of every two senior citizens wants to live separately from their offspring.

On November 25, the National Statistical Office (NSO) announced the results of its “2005 Social Statistics Survey.” This survey was conducted in June and polled 70,000 Koreans over the age of 15.

A Prevalent “It’s Your Fault” Mentality—

On the question regarding handicapped people, 89.1 percent of the respondents answered that they did not discriminate against the handicapped. However, 74.6 percent of the same pool answered that other people besides them discriminated against the handicapped.

A total of 71 percent of the handicapped that answered the survey said that society discriminated against them. In other words, many handicapped actually live and feel the discrimination that many Koreans disavow. According to the poll, it is very likely that the people answering that said they did not discriminate against the handicapped were in fact unknowingly discriminating against them.

Similar results also showed up in the law-abiding question.

Out of the respondents, 64.3 percent answered that they abided by the law, while only 28 percent answered that other people were also abiding by the law.

The greatest reason for not abiding the law was: “Because other people don’t,” which accounted for 25.1 percent of the pool’s answers. They blame others for their violation of the law.

Ewha Women’s University Sociology Professor Kim Sung-yi commented, “In a society with members that have a conscience but cannot actually act by it, people tend to blame their faults on others.”

One Out of Two Senior Citizens Wants to Live Apart From Their Offspring—

About half, or 52.5 percent, of Koreans over 60 want to live separately from their children, according to the poll. By gender, 58 percent of men and 48.4 percent women wanted to live apart. On where they want to live, 85.3 percent of senior-age Koreans wanted to live in their own home, followed by retirement centers and asylums (8.9 percent), and “silver towns” (4.5 percent).

Currently, 40.9 percent of senior Koreans are living with their children, and that percentage is higher in urban areas, 47.9 percent, than rural areas, 26.8 percent.

It was also discovered that one out of two senior households had no plans to meet their living expenses. In addition, they also answered that they had no ability to prepare for their further aging.

NSO Employment and Welfare Statistics Division Director Choi Yeon-ok worried, “The burden that society has to take in order to solve the aging problem will only be increased.”



legman@donga.com