Hallyu : discourses of Korean drama viewership in China

Date
2008
Authors
La Torre, Nichole S.
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The Korean Wave gained widespread audience attraction in China through the use of attractive plots combined with popular music, high production value, and successful marketing techniques. In China, the popularity of Korean drama created a market for a multitude of consumer goods from cell phones to cosmetics. Several people have claimed that there is an "addictive" quality inherent in these dramas. While several scholars have attempted to determine the root cause of this widespread attraction to Korean dramas, most analyses are over-simplified in their explanations as to the cause of this phenomenon. Many arguments name a "Confucian root" or a "Pan-Asian identity" as the basis of this trend. However, this thesis argues that it is not only Confucianism which drives fanaticism, but a complex and interwoven process of emotional investment, similar social expectations, global market forces, and a need to confront the constant clash of modernity and tradition which permeates both Korean and Chinese culture as a result of modernization. The "addictive" qualities of Korean drama viewership in China can be adequately analyzed and explored only when one uses a method which acknowledges opposition and individual agency. Cultural issues inherent in these dramas relate to social conditions and contradictions inherent in both Chinese and Korean society. Myriad interpretations and individual perceptions derived from dramatic series can facilitate an open dialogue about certain dramas, stars, and associated cultural products. South Korean television dramas depict the lives of ordinary people in a society where social expectations are in a state of flux. One must recognize the many facets that prompt viewer attraction, and that individual identification on the part of audience members as well as the extraction of personal interpretations of media is immeasurable.
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Thesis (M.A.)--University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2008.
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 123-129).
[iv], 129 leaves, bound 29 cm
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Theses for the degree of Master of Arts (University of Hawaii at Manoa). Asian Studies; no. 3489
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