Author

SUNKI CHOE

Date of Graduation

1983

Document Type

Dissertation/Thesis

Abstract

The focus of this study is the relationship between urbanization and voting participation in Korean national elections from 1963 to 1978 during the regime of President Park Chung Hee. More specifically, this study attempts to analyze: (1) urban-rural differences in voter turnout rate; (2) urban-rural differences in partisan support; (3) the relationship between urbanization as the surrogate variable of socioeconomic development on the one hand and voting participation on the other. In addition to analyzing the linkage between place of residence and electoral participation in Korea, this study will test the validity of leading models or theories on political participation--i.e., the "social mobilization" or "modernization" model and the "decline-of-community" model. The basic hypothesis of this study is that there is an inverse correlation between the degree of urbanization and voter turnout in the national elections in Korea: the more urbanized an election district, the lower the voter turnout rate. It is further assumed that urbanization correlates with direction of voting participation: the more urbanized an election district, the lower the electoral support for the ruling government party. Using election district as the basic unit of analysis, two sets of aggregate data were collected: (1) voting statistics of three presidential and five parliamentary elections between 1963 and 1978; and (2) socio-demographic statistics derived from census data as well as government statistical yearbooks and/or other aggregated data for the analysis. With regard to electoral participation, the voting rate of the urban electorate has been consistently lower than that of the rural electorate. There is ample evidence to believe that the low-voting rate among urban, especially metropolitan, voters can be attributed to the weakening of the pressure for conformity to community norms in voting as well as to the inefficacy of community social networks in mobilizing voters. The persistent gap between urban-rural differences in voter turnout rate in both presidential and parliamentary elections substantiates the "decline-of-community" model on the inverse correlation between urbanization and voter turnout rate. As far as "radicalization" of urban voting behavior is concerned, urban-metropolitan voters are strongly anti-government and support the opposition party. Such a tendency also substantiates the hypotheses advanced by Dahl and Tufte on urbanization and political competition and on the inverse correlation between urbanization and the strength of the government party. . . . (Author's abstract exceeds stipulated maximum length. Discontinued here with permission of author.) UMI.

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