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유대감 (Fellowship): Images of American Efforts to Modernize Korea

Traditional Industry

People’s occupation depended on their caste, which was composed of 양반 yangban (ruling class), 중인 jyungin (middle class), 상민 sangmin (lower class), 천민 cheonmin (lowest class). People from the ruling class often served as civil servants and military officers. The middle class people usually served in the technical and clerical fields. The majority of people on the Korean peninsula belonged to the lower class and worked as farmers, since traditionally the Korean peninsula was based on an agrarian subsistence economy. Occasionally, people from the lower class also worked as handcrafters, merchants, and carpenters. Usually people from the lowest class were slaves or servants.