This article examines the impact of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) crisis on families in South Korea and the ways that the crisis brought competing ideologies (conservative vs. progressive) to the foreground. Based on Þeldwork in South Korea during the Þnancial crisis, we look at how individual families coped with economic insecurity and at the public discourse about family and gender generated by the crisis. The economic crisis caused widespread unemployment and even broader economic uncertainty that created hardships for many families. It also triggered a debate over gender roles and modernization as the country tried to determine the best strategy to cope with its eects. Finally, we look into the differential impact of the crisis on families in dierent social strata.