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East to East: cultural politics and fandom of Korean popular culture in Eastern Europe

Title
East to East: cultural politics and fandom of Korean popular culture in Eastern Europe
Author
윤선희
Keywords
East European countries; soft power; Korean media; ethnography; fandom; Korean wave
Issue Date
2017-01
Publisher
INTELLECT LTD
Citation
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MEDIA & CULTURAL POLITICS, v. 12, no. 2, page. 213-227
Abstract
This study examines the popularity of South Korean media in Eastern Europe as a case of cultural politics. Strong fandom and subcultural activities related to Korean media in this region show not only temporary cultural trends but also social changes and public aspirations in these countries. Media audiences use Korean popular culture as a way of expressing their visions of social and cultural construction different from western systems. Currently facing new crises and despair after transitioning from the breakdown of socialism, people in these countries actively seek alternatives to both Eastern European communist and capitalist western development. This politically motivated cultural practice of media use demonstrates a case of soft power that phases the cultural dimension of politics motivated by the people. As an empirical endeavour of conceptual framework of cultural politics, an ethnographic research, including field studies with in-depth interviews and the participatory observation of social media, was conducted in Romania and Hungary. This research finds that criticism of national politics and the hasty adoption of the western system are the starting points for fan groups that indulge in Korean media, which simultaneously depict traditional values and rapid development towards modernity. Fans of Korean media in this region show nostalgia and Korean dreams that disclose the collective desires and social consciousness of the people at present. This study identifies cultural politics as an exercise of soft power and driving forces for the popularity of Korean media in post-socialist Europe.
URI
https://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/intellect/mcp/2016/00000012/00000002/art00005%3bjsessionid=11apjcdeuumo9.x-ic-live-01https://repository.hanyang.ac.kr/handle/20.500.11754/112194
ISSN
1740-8296; 2040-0918
DOI
10.1386/macp.12.2.213_1
Appears in Collections:
COLLEGE OF SOCIAL SCIENCES[S](사회과학대학) > MEDIA COMMUNICATION(미디어커뮤니케이션학과) > Articles
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