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What are the characteristics of Korean family?

The Characteristics of Korean Family


Korean culture is known for its strong emphasis on family values. In Korea, the family is considered the most important social unit, and it plays a significant role in shaping the lives and behavior of individuals. This article will explore the characteristics of Korean families and how they differ from Western families.

The Importance of Family in Korean Culture

In Korea, the family is considered the fundamental unit of society. It is believed that individuals are not complete without a family, and that one’s identity is closely tied to the family unit. This strong emphasis on family values has been passed down through generations and remains a vital part of Korean culture today.

Extended Family

In Korea, extended family members are highly respected and play an important role in a person’s life. It is common for grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins to live together or nearby. This close-knit family structure helps to foster a sense of community and support.

Respect for Elders

In Korean culture, elders are highly respected and revered. They are considered the keepers of wisdom and are often consulted for guidance in important decisions. Younger family members are expected to show respect for their elders and to take care of them as they age.

Collective Decision Making

In Korean families, decisions are often made collectively rather than individually. Family members will discuss important decisions together and come to a consensus before taking action. This approach helps to maintain harmony within the family unit.

Gender Roles

Traditional gender roles still play a significant role in Korean families. Men are typically seen as the providers and decision-makers, while women are expected to take care of the home and children. However, these roles are slowly changing as more women enter the workforce.

Education and Success

Education is highly valued in Korean culture, and parents often put a lot of pressure on their children to succeed academically. The success of the child is seen as a reflection of the family, and parents will go to great lengths to ensure their children receive the best education possible.

Closeness and Affection

Korean families are generally very close-knit and affectionate. Family members will often express their love for each other through physical touch, such as hugging or holding hands. This close bond helps to foster a sense of security and belonging.

Food and Meal Times

Food is an important aspect of Korean culture, and meal times are considered a time for family bonding. It is common for family members to gather together for meals and share traditional Korean dishes.


Religion plays an important role in Korean families, with Christianity being the most prevalent religion. Family members will often attend church together and participate in religious activities as a family unit.

Birth Order

Birth order is also significant in Korean families, with the eldest child often being given more responsibility and authority within the family. The youngest child is typically seen as the most cherished and may receive more attention from parents.


In conclusion, Korean families are characterized by their strong emphasis on family values, respect for elders, collective decision making, traditional gender roles, education, closeness, food, religion, and birth order. While these characteristics may differ from Western families, they help to create a unique and enduring culture that values community, respect, and family above all else.

What are the Korean values of family?

Even in today’s modern society, traditional Korean values place a strong emphasis on hard work, respect for family, protecting loved ones, and maintaining proper behavior among family members.

What is the family structure in Korean culture?

In Korean culture, family is defined as individuals who are biologically related, reside in the same house, and collaborate on household responsibilities. The traditional Korean family structure consisted of an extended family unit where a couple and their married offspring and grandchildren lived together.

What are 5 Korean family values?

Confucianism has established certain traditional Korean values and customs, including respect for the authority of fathers, obedience of wives to husbands, obedience of children to parents, filial piety and submission to the family, adherence to civil authorities, and emphasis on education with high expectations. These values were documented by Lehrer in 1996.

What are the main characteristics of Korean?

Korea has its distinct culture, personality, clothing, and cuisine that are distinct from neighboring countries. Koreans value hard work, respect for elders, and humility as important traits. They take pride in their traditional culture and their rapid economic growth.

What is the characteristic of a Korean mother?

Mothers from Korea are known for their extraordinary commitment and devotion to their children. They are willing to make any sacrifice for the sake of their children. This has been observed as a common trait among Korean mothers.

What does Korean culture value most?

Koreans place significant importance on family and related matters in their lives due to their traditional cultural legacy, including Confucian social ethics and Shamanism, which emphasize emotions and interpersonal relationships.

Military Service

Military service is mandatory for all able-bodied Korean men, and this experience often shapes the dynamic of Korean families. The military is seen as a rite of passage, and family members will often support their loved one through their service. After completing their service, many Korean men return home with a newfound sense of responsibility and maturity.

Emphasis on Filial Piety

Filial piety, or the respect and obedience that children owe their parents, is highly valued in Korean culture. Children are expected to take care of their parents as they age and to provide financial and emotional support. This expectation has led to a strong emphasis on family obligation and loyalty.

Communication Styles

In Korean families, communication styles may differ from Western families. Open displays of emotion may be less common, and indirect communication may be preferred. However, family members will often use nonverbal cues, such as facial expressions and body language, to express their feelings.

Role of Marriage

Marriage is seen as an important milestone in Korean culture, and family approval is often sought before a couple can wed. Once married, couples may be expected to live with the husband’s family and follow traditional gender roles. However, modern Korean couples are increasingly choosing to live independently and make decisions together.

Collective Responsibility

In Korean families, each member has a role to play in maintaining the well-being of the family unit. This collective responsibility extends beyond immediate family members to include extended family members and even neighbors. Helping others in times of need is seen as a duty and reinforces the importance of community in Korean culture.


Korean families are complex and multifaceted, shaped by centuries of tradition and cultural values. While some aspects of Korean family life may differ from Western families, the emphasis on community, respect, and family bonds remains constant. Understanding these characteristics can help to bridge cultural divides and appreciate the unique beauty of Korean culture.

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