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Global media, audiences and transformative identities: femininities and consumption in South Korea

Kim, Jong Mi (2008) Global media, audiences and transformative identities: femininities and consumption in South Korea. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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The aim of this thesis is to examine the complexity of young women's identities in a context where accelerated global cultural flows have become enormously influential. In particular, this research examines how the consumption of global media affects young women's identities in postcolonial South Korea. Young Korean women's identities have been constructed through specific historical experiences: colonisation under Japanese rule; the division of Korea after the Korean War; and a compressed modernity with rapidly increasing consumption of global media during the 1990s. This research demonstrates how global culture has adapted to a particular local culture. It illustrates how women as audiences are in conflict with, and have to negotiate, newly introduced values through their consumption of global mass media. The research was based on a series of group interviews, including 21 group (101 women) interviews along with data collected from magazine and newspaper articles during nine, months' fieldwork in 2000. The analysis is structured around three key themes of women's cultural practice; consuming plastic surgery, the translation of romantic love and marriage, and the notion of femininity amongst married women. It provides a detailed example of postcolonial theory and argues that the global-local relationship is not monolithic but interactive; it forms part of the devolution of global media. The process of women's identity formation is therefore closely associated with the multi-layered and dynamic practice of struggling with, resisting, and negotiating with, an evolving and devolving global media, and this dominates women's contemporary cultural practice. That cultural practice needs to be contextualised and understood as part of a continuous local negotiation with global forces, as we seek to avoid an unnecessary dichotomy where women are seen as either oppressed or as subversive audiences.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sociology, Social Structure and Development
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses

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