The Rise of K-Dramas

Essays on Korean Television and Its Global Consumption


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About the Book

Korean dramas gained popularity across Asia in the late 1990s, and their global fandom continues to grow. Despite cultural differences, non-Asian audiences find “K-dramas” appealing. Diverse in both content and form, they range from historical melodrama and romantic comedy to action, horror, sci-fi and thriller.
Devotees pursue an immersive fandom, consuming Korean food, fashion and music, learning Korean to better understand their favorite shows, and travelling to Korea for firsthand experiences.
Examining the cultural impact of K-drama and its fandom, this collection of new essays focuses on the formation and transformation of identities in the context of regional and global dynamics and differing values and beliefs among social groups. Contributors discuss such popular series as Boys over Flowers, My Love from the Star and Descendants of the Sun.

About the Author(s)

JaeYoon Park is an assistant professor of media communication at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith. She has published in such academic journals as Jump Cut: A Review of Contemporary Media and Americana: The Journal of American Popular Culture.
Ann-Gee Lee is an associate professor of English at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith. Her research interests lie in women’s studies, covert rhetoric, civic discourse, and popular culture.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by JaeYoon Park and Ann-Gee Lee
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 229
Bibliographic Info: appendices, notes, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2019
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7747-7
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3658-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents


JaeYoon Park vi


JaeYoon Park viii

Part 1. Fandom, Consumption and

International Relations

Consuming K-Drama Cuisine: The Intersection of Fans,

Fandom and Food in the Search for a Real Korean Meal

Jennifer Rachel Dutch 6

Desiring Asian Masculinities Through Hallyu Tourism

Min Joo Lee 26

Korean Dramas as Chinese “She-Economy”

Ann-Gee Lee 47

Riding the Drama Waves: Reconsidering Korean Soft Power

and Clashing Nationalisms

Tony Tai-Ting Liu and Phyllis Wei-Lih Yeh 68

Part 2. Identity Formation, Transformation

and Gender Relations

Gender, Aging and Disability in Dear My Friends (2016)

JaeYoon Park 94

A Postsecular Analysis of Two Ghost-Infested Dramas

Mary A. Sobhani 109

Portrayals of “Soft Beauty”: Analyzing South Korean

Soft Masculinities in Media and in Real Life

Sofia Murell 127

Part 3. Co-Production and Adaptation

Chinese-Korean TV Drama Co-Production: Representations of

International Romance and the Potential of Multiculturalism

Elaine W. Chung 154

An Eastern Perspective on Western Dramas: A Korean Take

on American Television Dramas

Daniela Mazur, Melina Meimaridis and

Afonso de Albuquerque 173

The East Meets the Middle East: Cultural Proximity,

Audience Reception and Korean TV Adaptations

on Turkish Televisions

Yeşim Kaptan and Murat Tutucu 193

About the Contributors 217

Index 219