Though 5 out of 10 South Koreans have moved up to a higher occupational level than their fathers’ generation, less than four are aware of this, a recent study found. This is thought to be the result of growing pessimism about social mobility, caused by the recent tendency for class structure in South Korean society to become locked in.
A paper called "An International Comparison of the Level of Social Mobility and Implications for Policy" found that half of South Koreans have moved to a higher occupational level than their parents’ generation. This was the highest percentage among the seven countries that were compared in the analysis. Finland had 45.4%, Denmark 44.6%, France 44.9%, the US 41.7%, Germany 38.8% and Japan 26.1%.
The country in which the highest percentage of respondents said their level was higher than their father’s was France, with 53.3%, followed by Finland (48.2%), Denmark (46.8%), the US (45.8%), Germany (39.9%), South Korean (37.7%) and Japan (22.2%).
"During South Korea’s industrialization, there was a great deal of social mobility, so South Koreans have high expectations for moving up. As they are confronted with the present tendency for the social structure to become solidified, pessimism about upward mobility has become widespread," the researchers said.
move up：動詞片語，升級（職）。例句：I’ve been an office clerk for over a year. I had hoped that I would move up.（我已當了一年多的職員，原本希望自己會升職。）
lock in：動詞片語，禁閉、封鎖。例句：The ship was completely locked in ice.（這艘船整個遭冰封。）
confront with：動詞片語，使遭遇、使對質。例句：The police confronted him with the witness’s statement.（警方以目擊者的供述與他對質。）