Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Joongang Ilbo has an interesting article about 'priority seating' on subways and how misperception of who should be allowed to sit there has led to some rather anti-social behavior by elderly people who believe they alone are entitled to sit there - as well as a backlash against such behavior.


Anonymous said...

The article obscures how norm-conscious Koreans are compared to westerners. Younger people do give up seats, and older people take bags and even hold children. I don't know why people find the end seats so comfortable. It might have to do with a general lack of politeness in public when people aren't following rules, like giving up seats. Unless there's an explicit norm, I find people are selfish in public more than say my family at home. I still think people have not advanced from a rural society to a modern urban one with impersonal norms.

Stephen Beckett said...

What I find unbelievable is that parents will allow their young children to occupy seats on the subway whilst older people are standing. The way I was raised, this simply beggars belief. My mother would never for a second have allowed me to sit whilst someone older was standing.

Darth Babaganoosh said...

These days, I see fewer and fewer younger people giving up their seats. I see them sit there and chat with the their friends or pretend to be sleeping, all with the older person standing right there.

I'm in my forties, and I'll still give up my seat 9 out of 10 times before someone younger will... and I sit there for a few moments looking around to see who will give up their seat--the answer, nearly invariably, is no one.