Socio-demographic Heterogeneity of Community Participation in Rural, Korea

농촌주민의 지역사회조직 참여 실태 분석

  • Published : 2005.06.01


This study aims to examine the socio-demographic heterogeneity of community participation in rural Korea. Data was collected through interviews with 1,870 rural householders and housewives who have lived in Up or Myen as an administrative unit of rural communities, and analyzed by the SPSS/PC Win V.10 program. The statistical techniques used for this study were frequency and percentile. The major findings of this study were as follows. Firstly, the extent to which rural people have participated in community organizations were: cooperative groups, $80.8\%$; religious groups, $20.6\%$; learning groups, $12.7\%$; political groups, $9.8\%;$ civil groups $6.7\%$; and voluntary groups, $5.3\%$. Whereas the numbers were high for community participation in groups related to agricultural production, participation in civil and voluntary groups were lower. Secondly, it showed that people who lived in urbanized and high population density areas were more likely to participate in community groups. The diversity of community organizations was different according to the level of rurality. Thirdly, farm householders were more likely to participate in religious, civil and voluntary groups than non-farm householders. Fourthly, people with higher education, females, those in the 40 to 50 age groups were more likely to participate in community organizations. Fifthly, even though men are more likely to participate in political parties, women were more likely then men to agree that women should participate in political parties. This empirical study could support the results of Sundeen (1988) and Wilson and Musick (1997) in that education was related positively to community participation. In addition, we concluded that community participation in a rural development process has two main considerations: philosophical and pragmatic. This implies that there is room for government to enable and facilitate 'true' community participation. That can be done through policy reform which creates a permissive environment for community decision-making and input, in addition to simply supporting community development through financial assistance.