Over the quarter-century since the Asian financial crisis, social inequality has become more visible, and precariousness is now a part of daily life for many in South Korea. Examining patterns of disparity in different areas and the ways in which social discontent with increasing inequality is manifested and politicized will advance our understanding of the politics of social inequality—how perceived inequality leads to political preferences and collective action. This essay describes how different forms of inequality have evolved in South Korea since the late 1990s, what narratives have formed around these issues, and how they have shaped South Korean politics.

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