Our group decided to choose 4 different East Asian countries for each members and investigate the various issues and practices associated with their Transnational Television. Michael Sarlo – Japan, Danni He – China, Vickie Deng – Taiwan or Hong Kong and Me – Korea. As I took deeper research on the relationship between Korea and Transnational Television, I eventually ended up focusing on the theme derived from “Korean Wave” and “Globalisation”.
Globalisation and Transnational Television
Chalaby, J. (ed.) 2005 “Towards an Understanding of Media Transnationalism” in Transnational Television Worldwide, London I.B. Tauris, pp. 1-13
This article offers a global perspective on the unique contemporary media phenomenon of transnational television channels. Chalaby (2005) explores about the factor that television is a major presence in most national cultures and states that, “the rise of transnational television lies at the heart of the current regional and global reshaping of media industries and cultures”. (ed Chalaby, 2005, p.1)
The report also demonstrates how transnational television takes different forms, providing examples such as cross-border satellite TV channels (e.g. south TV in South Asia), International and regional news channels (e.g. Chanel News Asia, CNN), Joint ventures (e.g. Murdoch’s Star Group) and International format trade.
The report is highly readable and there is a logical progression in explaining general overview of the globalization of TV as Chalaby (2005) effectively supports many of his argument by referring to various media experts’ theory and practices on transnational television topic.
The article is useful for my research to understand the relationship between transnational television networks and the process of globalization and to acknowledge its practical implication on current media industries and cultures. This potentially provides new ways of thinking about emerging transnational media order, considering audiences and geocultural TV markets.
Geography and Audience
Chua, BH. (2004) “Conceptualizing an East Asian popular culture” Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, Chapter 5.2, pp. 200-221.
This article explores about the themes deriving from East Asian popular culture. Analyzing the production, distribution and consumption of culture Asian goods, patterns arise that explain the efficiency of exporting Asian cultural material and the reasons for international popularity.
The report categorises three different types of consumption positions, audiences, in consuming popular culture programs and argues that “Consumers are geographically located within cultural spaces in which they are embedded and meanings and viewing pleasures are generated within the local cultures of a specific audience”. (Chua, 2004, p.211), explaining the significant relationship between the consumer’s geographical space and globalization of new media.
The article is well structured and it critically reviews on successful cases/programs from Asian countries such as China, Japan, Korea and Singapore, to logically uncover the process of popular cultural products ‘criss-cross’ cutlrual boarders everyday in East Asia. However, there is still lacking research on the economies of these transnational product chains and product flows in each specific location.
The article is useful for my research to see the possibility and realization of a transnational East Asian Identity, facilitated by the production and consumption of a popular culture.
Successful elements of Asian Transnational Media (Korean Wave)
Consumerism and Fandoms – Marketing
Otmazgin, NK. (2011) “Commodifying Asian-ness: entrepreneurship and the making of East Asian popular culture”. Media, Culture & Society, vol. 33 no.2, pp. 259-74.
This article explores the linkage between entrepreneurship and the making of popular culture in East Asia. Otmazgin(2011) particularly emphasizes the argument that the notion of entrepreneurship is central for building new circles of ‘Asian’ recognition and for understanding and conceptualizing the process of constructing trans-national markets for popular culture commodities such as movies, music albums, animation series, and television programs.
The report closely analyses four cases of entrepreneurship in popular culture, which exemplify the driving forces and the intended and unintended consequences of entrepreneurship, and outlines the wider theoretical and methodological implications for this concept by defining the relations between structural determinism and human agency in popular culture.
The report contains dynamic perspectives and critical responses from many experts, based on in-depth interviews with 65 cultural industry personnel in Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai, Bangkok and Seoul between April 2004 and June 2006.
This article is helpful for my research to identify Entrepreneurship as a key successful element in the process of commodifying and marketing popular culture, especially for globalization of Asian TV contents.
Kim, DK. (2009) “Television drama, narrative engagement and audience buying behavior: The effects of Winter Sonata in Japan”. Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, vol. 71 no. 7, pp. 595-611
This article specifically investigates the perception of Japanese audience members toward the most remarkable Korean TV-series, Winter Sonata’s narrative and how this perception influenced their buying behavior of Winter Sonata memorabilia, such as clothing, cosmetics, DVDs/CDs of the program, trip to Korea and so on.
Kim (2009) finds that the popularity of the drama was generated by Japanese audiences’ engagement with its narrative, claiming “it was perceived as being coherent, realistic and emotionally involving…the emotional involvement variable in the narrative was the strongest one affecting audience members’ purchasing behavior” (Kim, 2009, pg.605)
The report provides data analysis on Japanese audiences’ perception of the narrative quality of Winter Sonata, mainly using web-based survey. However, their prediction could been biased and restricted in regards to age and gender of overall Japanese fans of Winter Sonata as there hasn’t been tangible or practical approach for passive audiences. In addition, more research is required to update on Japanese fans behavior towards to current trendy K-dramas as Winter Sonanta is a decade old production.
This article can be helpful for my research topic’s case study to particularly focus on Korean typical ‘soap drama’, Winter Sonata, and determine key successful element in regards to its narrative structure for creating cross-cultural connection. This will also support my findings about its overall influence across Japan, creating a new perceptual image of South Korea and its role in constructing Asian solidarity based on popular consumption.
Government policy – National branding, Soft Power
Sung, SY. (2010) “Constructing new image. Hallyu in Taiwan”. European Journal of East Asian Studies, vol.9 no.1, pp. 25-45.
This paper discusses the role that hallyu, the Korean Wave, has played in reconstructing the image of South Korea among Taiwanese people and the role of South Korean government in improving it, utilizing this phenomenon in developing the nation’s ‘soft power’.
Sung (2010) focuses on how a once-held negative image of South Korea has been transformed, claiming “South Korea had a negative image in Taiwan, especially after 1992, when South Korea broke off diplomatic relations with Taiwan…The memory of this seeming betrayal began to change after the Korean Wave started to boom”. (Sung, 2010, pg.26)
The report contains highly reliable and dynamic perspectives with its ethnographical research in both Taiwan and South Korea for a long period of time between 2000 and 2009. It takes critical analysis of hallyu, based on personal interviews, emailed questionnaires and website interviews from various culture, politic and media experts. Sung (2010) exemplifies many K-dramas, such as Dae Jang Geum and Full House, and other Korean popular culture in order to support his argument.
This paper is helpful for my research to examine Korean Wave as a case study of successful transnational television in East Asia and investigate its relationship with government policy and development of Korean national branding and soft power.
Understanding Korean Wave – background/history
Kim, JY. (2007) “Rethinking media flow under globalization: rising Korean wave and Korean TV and film policy since 1980s”. PhD thesis. University of Warwick.
This thesis provides definition, methodology and historical background of the Korean wave, Hanryu. It also explores how recent cultural opening under globalisation in Korea has affected Korea’s cultural industries both quantitatively in terms of economic performance and qualitatively in terms of cultural content, identity and diversity.
In particular the thesis considers Hanryu in terms of the cultural influence on neighbouring countries manifest through tourism and a new interest in Korean language and culture. Kim (2007) eventually comments on some of the difficulties and limitations in sustaining such a balance and concludes by considering the sustainability of Hanryu both in Korea and in the broader Asian context.
The report provides highly practical and logical results, supported by statistical data; historical material, interview and simple graphic representations, distilling the important findings.
This report will be helpful for my research to clearly define “Hanryu” with its historical background and to understand many implications with regards to cultural policy in periphery countries under globalization. In addition, this will develop my findings about some of restrictions and criticisms about “Hanryu” and consider future trend of Korean media industries.
Globalisation and Korean Wave
Yang, J. (2012) “The Korean wave (hallyu) in East Asia: A comparison of Chinese, Japanese and Taiwanese audiences who watch Korean TV dramas”. Development and Society, Vol. 41 No. 1, pp. 103-147
This report utilises statistical data to analyse the size as well as changes over time and variations among countries and genres of Korean cultural products exported to East Asian countries for the past several years and also to examine changes in cultural policies and market situations both in Korea and other East Asian countries.
Yang (2012) discovers that “the total value of exportation of the Korean culture industry…increased more than twice to 939 million dollars in 2004”. (Yang, 2012, pg.122)
The paper highly contains logical and critical information/analysis on the flow of Korean cultural products to three neighboring East Asian countries: China, Japan and Taiwan and provides structural and institutional background on Hallyu, mainly supported by frequency tables and some cross-tabulations, sourced from the 2008 EASS (East Asian Social Survey) data.
This paper is helpful for my research topic to investigate logical data and statistical measurements on globalisation of Korean wave in periphery countries and to determine the factors for the rise of Hallyu.
Transnational Media Challenge – Cultural Imperialism?
Iwabuchi, K. (2008) “Discrepant Intimacy: Popular Culture Flows in East Asia” in J.Erni and S.Chua (eds), Asian Media Studies: Politics of subjectivities. Oxford: Blackwell. pp. 19-36.
This article analyses the cultural homogenizing effects of modernization, industrialization and the intensification of popular culture media flows. Iwabuchi (2008) emphasizes a point that while it is usually the US that is associated with images of “modern”, it is significant to understand that globalization does not necessarily just mean the spread of western (or American) products to origins across the globe.
The author states “non-western players also actively collaborating in the circulation of global media products”. (Iwabuchi, 2008, pg.19) Popular culture in East Asia “in most cases, unavoidably embodies American origin…[but] not without east Asian flavour”, (Iwabuchi, 2008, pg.20) explaining that there is still strong sense of “bizarre sameness” in the identification of cultural hybridization.
The report provides credible theories on its topic through examination on case studies of Japanese TV dramas in Taiwan such as Tokyo Love Story and of Hong Kong stars in Japan.
This article is helpful for my research topic to determine how the perception of cultural intimacy and “familiar difference” of cultural neighbors is experienced differently and unevenly as media industries increasingly capitalize on the regional cultural resonance in East Asia.