Korean Culture and Gendered Division of Labor

The traditional division of labor followed the Confucian ideal of strict separation between men and women. The men took care of the major field crops while the women took care of housework, spinning, weaving, and cooking. Women in poorer households were often forced to work in the fields to earn money for their families. While poor women had to work in the fields to survive, modest gentry women were revered by the traditional Koreans as models of feminine modesty. Their exemplary modesty spanned two centuries.


In a multidisciplinary study, the concept of Yin-Yang is applied in both the Western and Eastern cultures. Its applications are diverse and include thousands of years of East Asian wisdom and techniques. Yin-Yang is a cultural construct that describes both the physical and psychological aspects of human beings.

In Korean culture, Yin-Yang is a concept reflected in the Five Elements. The blue color is associated with negative energy, while red represents the feminine side. These two sides create a balance that is reflected in the form of the elements. Both blue and red are also symbols of seasons and directions.

Division of labor

In this study, we examined how the gendered division of household labor in Korean and Chinese cultures is perceived by members of both cultures. Previous research has found that a majority of women report the gendered division to be fair, but researchers have largely focused on survey methods and have not investigated why women report it to be fair. We used thematic analysis and in-depth interviews with 12 Chinese and Korean families to explore this question.

In traditional Korean society, the division of labor was a common practice that was largely based on Confucian values. Men were generally responsible for outside labor, while women were expected to perform domestic tasks. Although the gender gap has narrowed in recent decades, domestic work has remained the responsibility of women.

Group identity

In the Korean culture, the family is the basic social unit. Koreans view harmony within the family as the first step toward harmony in the community. Children and adults are considered extensions of their families, and the welfare of the family is considered more important than that of individual members. This relationship is strongly influenced by Confucianism, a philosophy of societal harmony centered on prescribed roles and subordination.

Koreans are socially careful around their social superiors, but they are outgoing with their friends and others who have similar social status. However, Koreans living in metropolitan areas are often rude to strangers and are very self-centered. They also tend to push people in public and don’t apologize for it.


Education is a very important value in the Korean culture, and it is highly regarded. Children are expected to study more, and parents are willing to sacrifice for their children’s education. The enthusiasm for education is unmatched by any other nation. Educational attainment has an enormous influence on the suitability of an individual for employment and marriage. It also plays a role in everyday interpersonal relationships.

The primary curriculum in Korea is divided into nine subjects, including Korean language, moral education, mathematics, science, and physical education. The seventh national curriculum was implemented in 2000, and aims to develop a highly educated citizen.

Holiday celebrations

Holiday celebrations in Korean culture are primarily centered around children. Children’s Day, celebrated on May 5th, is often marked with various activities and events. Parents usually give their children gifts on this special day. If the holiday falls on a weekend, you’re more likely to see crowds and traffic jams. Other holidays are Constitution Day and Independence Memorial Day, which mark the founding of the Republic of Korea and celebrate the founding of the Gojoseon Dynasty.

During Dano, Koreans celebrate spring and farming. To celebrate, women wash their hair in water boiled with sweet flag. They also wear iris roots around their waists as a ward against evil spirits. Other main activities of the Dano holiday include folk games and dancing, such as ssireum (swing). People also eat traditional foods, like herb rice cakes, during this festival.