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  • Why are traditional life paths irrelevant for Gen Zers?
  • Why are traditional life paths irrelevant for Gen Zers?
    Empty Public (장래희망은 한량입니다) |Facebook (2020) ©
REPORT

How individualism is shaping South Korean youth

Grappling with a generational malaise, young people in South Korea are looking to reclaim some agency over their life choices. How are they challenging traditional mindsets around success and escaping societal pressures? And how can brands help them achieve happiness on their terms?

Location Republic of Korea

Scope
South Korea’s road to becoming a major economy hasn’t been entirely smooth. Constantly eyed by global superpowers post-war – China, the US, Japan, and Russia – it has faced decades of domination by external forces. Consequently, a power complex haunts the nation’s collective mindset. “South Koreans have a lot of pride. There is constant comparison with China and Japan,” explains Yoojin Kang, a curator at the Ulsan Museum of Art. [1]

The emergence of chaebols (family-owned conglomerates such as Samsung and LG) and the prosperity that followed the ‘Miracle on the Han River’ helped ...

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