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