“Responding to accelerating multicultural challenges: comparative cultural democracy in Korea and Thailand”

Gerald W. Fry, Haelim Chun, Rosarin Apahung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The major purpose of this paper is to examine the extent to which multiethnic Korea and Thailand are cultural democracies. The primary conceptual framework guiding this study is the powerful but largely ignored concept of cultural democracy. Bereday’s classic model of comparative research is another major theoretical and methodological framework utilized. The major methodologies used are comparative qualitative case studies, meta-synthesis, and participant-observation. Comparative national case studies are rare. A number of striking similarities between the two countries are identified. The very low fertility rates of both nations drive a critical need for guest workers and international students. Both countries in general have pursued assimilationist policies not conducive to cultural democracy. The final part of the paper offers suggestions for strengthening cultural democracy in both nations. Their long-term potential can be enhanced if both these societies recognize the ‘diversity advantage’ and move actively to realize the ideal of cultural democracy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)271-295
Number of pages25
JournalMulticultural Education Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, © 2019 Korean Association for Multicultural Education.


  • Bereday’s comparative research method
  • Cultural democracy
  • comparative cultural democracy
  • cultural democracy in Korea
  • cultural democracy in Thailand
  • multiethnic Korea
  • multiethnic Thailand


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