Korea has had a growth-oriented policy since the 1960s which has included urban development. Urban development, in which economic effectiveness is regarded as the most important factor, has created a lot of urban problems, such as environmental pollution and inhumane development. Even though residents want to improve their quality of everyday life and began to raise their voices in criticism of the urban problems, most of the improvements are merely limited to environmental objectives. Additionally, the older population in Korea has increased more quickly than that in other developed counties. There has also been a rapid rise of the number of female workers and nuclear family units, resulting in family members, especially the female members, rarely looking after their elderly relatives in Korea. As a result of these changing circumstances, the number of elderly people who live alone and in poverty has increased remarkably. Moreover, most of them cannot access any basic welfare services and this issue therefore, is one of the most serious problems in Korea. To propose a solution to the problem and to create a more humane city, this study will focus on community welfare which is arguably one of the most important factors in the everyday lives of elderly people.
The aim of this research is to highlight the state of community welfare for the elderly. To start, the study will explore theoretical discussions about community welfare in the fields of urban sociology and social welfare. The study will then define how community welfare effects the lives of elderly people and will also consider the institutional conditions. Moreover, this study will seek to show the disparities within community welfare for the elderly according to the local context, such as local social relations and political conditions. These local conditions can make a difference to the everyday lives of elderly people, even though they are in the same country and living under the same welfare policy. We can then clarify the state of community welfare in terms of the different local conditions which influence the disparities in community welfare and therefore impact the everyday lives of older people.
The anticipated outcomes of this research will be significant in terms of the attempt to integrate urban policy and social welfare. The research will compare the current conditions of community welfare for the elderly in Korea and the UK. The dynamics of local social relation which create disparities within community welfare at a local level will also be shown. It is anticipated that the research process will explain the important and critical conditions for community welfare thus demonstrating an alternative for Korea at a time when it is confronted with drastic changes.