South Korea emerged as the culture war capital of the world in a survey by Ipsos and King’s College London. The survey asked people in 28 countries to comment on the intensity of conflict between different groups in society. For the twelve pairs of groups included, South Koreans sensed the highest tensions for six of them – including the one arguably at the heart of the problem, the conflict between those with progressive and those with conservative, traditional ideas.
According to the respondents, tensions were also highest in South Korea between the university-educated and those without college degrees, between those in support of different parties and different religions as well as between young and old and between men and women.
The United States, the place where the expression of culture wars emerged, came third for the perceived tensions between liberals and conservatives. Spain came fifth. All other countries in the top 8 can also be found on the American continent.
The United States was in the top spot for perceived tension between ethnicities. The biggest tension between immigrants and the native-born population was felt in South Africa. The biggest gap between rich and poor, the social classes and the elite and ordinary people was perceived in Chile, but South Korea came in rank two or three for all three questions. The highest tensions between rural and urban populations were felt in Peru, followed by India and – again – South Korea. The only points of tension South Koreans did not feel acutely were between immigrants and native-born people as well as different ethnicities.