The purpose of this study is to explain how the recent phenomenon of individualization among unmarried young people in their late 30s has been unfolding in relation to familism in Korea. For this purpose, in-depth interviews were conducted with 19 people of the same birth cohort of 1975 who were victims of the economic crisis leading to IMF stewardship at the end of 1990s and who turned 37 years old in 2012, disembedded from the protective institutions of the first modernity according to the term coined by characterization of Ulrich Beck. The results indicated that the process of individualization in Korea lacking institutional protections under the harsh neoliberalism strongly depends on family and familism as a safety net, showing three types of the relationship between familism and individualization: a type of strong disembedment from and weak reembedment in the family; a type of concurrence of weak disembedment from and strong reembedment in family; and a type of individualization by utter coercion with no family to depend on. Finally, the transformed familism, as the simultaneous cause and effect of individualization, was composed not only of a normative element of filial piety toward parents, but also of multidimensions, such as familism as a relationship, and a reciprocal relationship shown in care provided by the parents.
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