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Analysing the East Asian Pop Culture Media Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Media
Wordcount: 1776 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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According to the acknowledgements section of the book, this book was the result of a workshop that was organized by the University of Singapore. The book has 13 Asia area expert-contributors who researched and presented the cultural influences of South Korean popular culture in East Asia in 2008. This book, which is readable, is very important for my research because it analyzes the impact of the Korean Wave in various countries of East Asia and incorporates the following relevant themes: modernity, identity, cultural industries, re-imagining, nationalism, trans-nationalism, structure of identification, globalization, popular capital culture and identity, tourism and cultural capital. Most importantly, for my research, it has audience studies on Korean drama, which will be beneficial to my research in getting data as to the behavior and pattern of the audience of Korean drama in Asia.

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Weaver, John A. Popular Culture New York: Peter Lang, 2009

This is a very recent general book written by Professor John A. Weaver who is professor of Curriculum Studies at Georgia Southern University. The book doesn’t directly address the specific topic of my research; nevertheless, it does address the concept of popular culture, traditions of popular cultural studies, the Frankfurt tradition, Birmingham School of Thought, fan culture, localizing power and etc. which are useful in my research for the general understanding of pop culture. Since for any concept to materialize and become accepted, first, theory must be formulated, therefore, I want to understand the theoretical concept of power, identity, gender, and the media. Most importantly, though, I want to understand the power behind the media. It also has a good section for further suggested readings and fairly detailed glossary in the context of cultural studies.

The Korea Herald Korean Wave Korea: Jimoondang, 2008

This book is a series entitled Insight into Korea Series Vol. 5 and is edited by the Korea Herald. The book has 17 contributors whose expertises vary from journalists, a housewife, and an ambassador to university professors. This book is very useful for my research because the various articles that are written by the aforementioned deal with the Korean Wave and its acceptance and popularity within different countries inside Asia and beyond (as far away places as Poland, Spain, Argentina, Iran, Australia, Egypt and so forth). In looking at the effects of the Korean Wave in different countries outside Asia will

indentify answers to my research’s main questions as to how, and why (and who is behind) Korean TV drama (including my research concentration of Dae Jang Geum) appeals to the viewers of different countries with different history, tradition, religion and culture.

The National Academy of the Korean Language An Illustrated Guide to Korean Culture: 233 traditional key words Seoul: Hakgojae, 2002

This illustrated book is designed as an introduction to non-Koreans in explaining Korean culture. The TV series Dae Jang Geum is a historical drama loosely based on an event that happened during the reign of King Jungjong (Jaeson Dynasty: 16th Century). The series has lots of scenes of cooking, dance, music, and script based on “authentic” Korean tradition and etc. There are many cultural references in the series which are not clear for non-Korean audiences. Therefore, this book is useful to my research in clarifying some of the cultural background, symbolism, traditional significance, traditional words, rituals and etc. that are shown in the historical TV drama series, Dae Jang Geum. The book has lots of illustrated colorful, long description of food, clothing, traditional houses, traditional drinks, leisure activities games and more.

McPhail, Thomas L. Global Communication: Theories Stakeholders, and Trends Singapore: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010

This book as the title indicates is a book that covers global communication and explores the various players (such as CNN, Fox, Al Jazerra, MSNBC, etc.) in world media today. Even though the book covers the entire world, it has a section that is relevance to my research which deals with Asia in general and Korea in particular. Most importantly, first, the book is as recent as you can get (2010), second, the section in Korea gives statistics on cultural products, exports of audio visual products and others. It also has figures on the importers of Korean products by product catagories. Therefore, this book is very useful for my research because I am able to get data in the context of Korean popular cultural export to Asia in particular.

Kim, Youna Women, Television and Everyday Life in Korea: Journeys of hope New York: Routledge, 2005

The book is written by a lecturer in Media and Communication at London School of Economics and Political Science. It explores the age, the economic status (upper class, lower class and middle class), the empowerment, identity, sexuality, attitude towards romance of women in Korean society and their viewing patterns. What I find useful for my research in the book is that it gives a short historical background about the Korean television system, representation of women, family life in transition and etc. The

aforementioned will help me in understanding women’s viewing pattern in Korea in order to contrast it with other Asia women’s viewing pattern.

T.Youn-ja Shim, Min-Sun Kim, Judith N. Martin Changing Korea: Understanding Culture and Communication New York: Peter Lang, 2008

The modernization and democratization process of Korea and the success of its popular culture across Asia and beyond go hand in hand. In other words, Korean popular cultural exports would not have been a reality without Korea’s economic powerhouse status and its democratization process that started in late 1980s. I chose the aforementioned book in order to understand the success of its modernity, progress and development. The book analayzes Korean culture in the context of its development, specially its communication. The cultural context that are mentioned in the book are Confusianism, collectivism vs. individualism, intercultural conflicts, and etc. The book gives data that is very helpful for my research because it compares its development success with other countries. Another important fact that I found interesting is that nearly 90% of its households are online therefore making Korea the world’s leading in communication capabilites.

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Ravina, Mark “Introduction: Conceptualizing the Korean Wave” Southeast Review of Asian Studies. Vol.31 (2009), 3-9.

The article, published in 2009, discusses Hallyu’s success and its impact in Asia. The author, who is a professor at Emory University, asks and tries to answer to the questions as to why and how Korean popular culture was enthusiastically received abroad. Even though the article does not particularly address the historical TV drama entitled Dae Jang Geum, (the series that my final addresses), but the article gives an introductory (easily readable) analysis about the Korean Wave, its development, its players, its impact as a national phenomenon and transnational phenomenon in Korea and beyond. At the end of the article, the author suggests future research on the Korean Wave.

Miller, Laura “Korean TV Dramas and the Japan-Style Korean Wave” Post Script: Essays in Films and the Humanities Volume 27, No.3 (2008), 17-24.

The article is written by a professor who chairs Japanese Studies department at the University of Missouri. The article discusses the impact of Korean TV dramas on Japan.

The article mostly deals with the impact of Winter Sonata on Japan in general and women in particular, it is very useful to my research to understand the trend that Winter Sonata started in Japan. However, the article has a short section on Dae Jang Geum and its impact on its audience. The success of Winter Sonata and its main male character, affectionately called Yon-sama in Japan, created a fan crazed love-all things Korean

fandom. The impact of the popularity of Yon-sama on Japanese society including its politicians is best illustrated by the following story. During elections for the Diet, the article mentions, that a former Prime Minister Koizumi Jun’ichiro said, “I will make great efforts so that I will be as popular as Yon-sama and be called Jun-sama.”

Tai, Eika “Korean Activism and Ethnicity in the Changing Ethnic Landscape of Urban Japan” Asian Studies Review Volume 30, No. 1 (2006) 41-58.

The author is professor of Foreign Languages and Literatures at North Carolina State University. Even though the article is written four years ago, I want to understand how the effect of the Korean wave in Japan has affected the Zainichi: the largest “minority” group in Japan (Japanese of Korean descent). In other words, I want to investigate if the status of Zainichi has been positively or negatively affected by the Korean Wave. The author argues that the impact of the Korean Wave has affected the images of Zainichi by the rest of the Japanese population, positively. Although, most of the article deals with two places where the Zainichi are active, the article for my purposes is very informative in making reference points that there was/were cooperation and learning experiences between other ethnic groups such as the Ainu and the Zainichi.

Lee, Hyangiin “Buying Youth: Japanese Fandom of the Korean Wave” Complicated Currents: Media Flows, Soft Power and East Asia (2010) 1-16.

According to the biography on the author, the article indicates that the author has written extensively on nationalism, trans-nationalism in Korean cinema and the Korean Wave in Japan. This article is a recent article that is published by Monash University. The article explores whether the notion that “middle aged” women were driving the Korean New Wave and craze in Japan. At the end, the author dispels the aforementioned. The article is very relevant to my research because the author looks into the concept of masculinity, socialization, femininity, and etc. in the Asian context. Most importantly, the article analyzes the audience in terms of passive viewer vs. active viewers, significant agents, imagined cross-cultural citizenship, power, politics, social commitment, social positioning, cultural mobility, nostalgia and so forth.


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