This conference is supported by the Population Studies Center, Population Aging Research Center, Center for East Asian Studies at Penn, and The Academy of Korean Studies.

Conference Program

Becoming an Adult in East Asia: Comparative and Interdisciplinary Approaches Conference

Organizer: Hyunjoon Park (and Korean Family in Comparative Perspective)
Dates: February 28 - March 1, 2014
Location: Klein Conference Room (University of Pennsylvania, 3718 Locust Walk (1st Floor), Philadelphia, PA 19104)

Registration is required, please contact Hyunjoon Park ( to register.

February 28 (Friday), 2014

8:00-8:45              Continental Breakfast (provided by the Population Studies Center)

8:45-9:00              Welcoming remark

9:00-10:20            School and Work in Japan (Moderator: Emily Hannum)

  • Hiroshi Ishida "How Do Schools Assist Students in Finding Jobs? The Role of Schools in the Transition from School to Work in Japan"
  • Emma Cook "School-to-Work Transitions and the Changing Meanings of Adulthood for Male Freeters  in Contemporary Japan"

10:20-10:35         Coffee break

10:35-11:55         School to Work in Korea (Moderator: Emma Cook)

  • Kyung-Ah Shin "Finding a Job in an Unstable Labor Market: The Experiences of Young People in the Korean Financial Crisis"
  • Hyejeong Jo "Becoming the Working Class in Mass Higher Education Society: Hidden Injury of Working-Class Young Adults in South Korea"

11:55-12:20         Overall Discussion

12:20-2:00           Lunch

2:00-3:20             School and Work in China (Moderator: Hyunjoon Park)

  • Jean Yeung & Qianhan Lin "The Urban-Rural Divergence of School-Work Paths of China's Youth"
  • Emily Hannum & Jennifer Adams "Early Educational Context and Pro-Mobility Outcomes in Young Adulthood in China's Poor Rural Communities"

3:20-3:35              Coffee break

3:35-4:55              Social Mobility and Transition to Adulthood (Moderator: Hiroshi Ishida)

  • Yi-lin Chiang "Education in a Global Context: Using Social Capital to Compensate the Lack of Cultural Capital"
  • Nancy Abelmann, Chunwoong Park, Hyunjoon Park "Contrasting Effects of English Speaking Proficiency on Social Class Mobility: A Comparative Study on the Social Mobility Regimes of Japan and Korea"

4:55-5:20              Overall Discussion

March 1 (Saturday), 2014

8:30-9:00             Continental Breakfast (provided by the Population Studies Center)

9:00-10:20           Love, Independence, and Home (Moderator: Lynne Nakano)

  • Richard Ronald "The Challenge of Achieving Independent Living for Young Adults in Japan"
  • Hye Gyong Park "Love and Money in The Lives of Young Women in Contemporary South Korea and Japan"

10:20-10:35         Coffee Break

10:35-12:35         Courtship and Marriage (Moderator: Seung-Kyung Kim)

12:35-2:00           Lunch

2:00-3:20             Life Course Events and Transition to Adulthood (Moderator: Jungwon Kim)

  • Hee Jung Choi "Compulsory Military Service of Study Abroad Men for Adulthood in South Korea"
  • Qianhan Lin "A Youth with No Regrets? – How China’s Sent-Down Generation Reviews Their Rustication Experience"

3:20-4:00              Overall Discussion

4:00-5:00              Discussion of Publication Plan