Korean Culture and Communication at Play

Sponsor: Korean American Communication Association
Fri, 11/9: 12:30 PM  - 1:45 PM 
Room: Alpine West (Second Level) 
Paper Session


Eun-Jeong Han, Salisbury University  - Contact Me


Korean American Communication Association


Face-saving at Play: How Young Adult Children Advise Their Parents about Voting in South Korea

This study investigates whether and how young adult children give advice about political voting to a parent who supports a candidate from an opposing party. Specifically, factors that affect children's degree of face-saving and how face-saving affects key advice outcomes are examined in the context of the Korean presidential election in 2017. Young adult South Koreans were surveyed about their interaction with parents regarding the 2017 presidential election. 


Jihyun Esther Paik, University of Wisconsin-Madison  - Contact Me


Sangwon Lee, University of Wisconsin-Madison  - Contact Me

Reversed Ethnography Toward Transculturality: A Case Study of the Korean Wave in the United States

This paper will be a perfect fit for this year's conference theme "Communication at Play" because it looks at the dynamic interactions between transnational media culture and fans in the United States. This paper looks at how cultural hybridity of transnational media culture un/consciously facilitates soft power and what sociocultural implications it might yield in global and international contexts. Employing a qualitative methodological approach of what I call "reversed media ethnography"-examining the contraflow of Korean media culture-on U.S. fans over a period of two years, the findings suggest that the complex layers of hybridity embedded in transnational media culture creates complicated webs of transculturality, such as alternative forms of gender representation, cute culture, and honorific culture. When media culture is circulated transnationally, the local context of its origin is often erased and instead it is projected through the lens of the receiving local context. Understanding transnational media texts-K-pop's appropriation of Hip Hop-as well as the perception of ethnicity surrounding the practice is bound to have differences based on varying degrees of social and historical contexts. Cultural appropriation can enhance diversity and multiculturalism, however, one should be sensitive to a culture that has a history of being colonized or oppressed. I suggest a mutual understanding of each other's culture and history in order to appreciate and respect the Otherness of each culture as well as subcultures. Moreover, global social media, as a main conduit to interact with foreign cultures, facilitates the spread and popularity of transnational media culture, yet simultaneously creates cross-cultural misunderstanding and disjunctures. For example, the Korean Wave exemplifies strategically well-balanced cultural hybridity that arouses a certain feeling of affinity-what I call emotional proximity. Korean popular culture evokes continuous negotiations of identities and generates nonthreatening wholesome content that comfortably appeals to American fans with varying degrees of ethnic, racial, social, and cultural backgrounds. The notion of woori-ness (we-ness in English)-collective unity and solidarity-embedded in Korean popular culture and its fandom culture works as one of the multifaceted soft power in the eyes of U.S. fans that leads to an alternative post-Western soft power. My research states that it is not the so-called hybridized Korean popular culture per se that makes it transcultural-and global to some extent-but the often under-recognized vital agents in the global sphere: the regions of fans. 


Hyeri Jung, Eastern University  - Contact Me

What's Going on in the Korean Peninsula? A Study on Perception and Influence of South and North Korea-Related Fake News

This research conducted three studies investigating a hotly debated issue of fake news in the context of South and North Korea relation. In study 1, 87 undergraduates in Seoul, Korea, described their perceptions and personal experiences on South and North Korea-related fake news. Study 2 firstly probed into South Koreans' (n = 224) capability to identify North Korea-related fake news. After given headlines of three real news and three fake news the participants were asked to identify whether the headlines were true or false. The second part of Study 2 examined perceptions on fake news censorship, the third-person effect on North-Korea related fake news, and the first-person effect on soft news. The findings of these studies offer implications regarding the responsibility of the media and the government in diminishing fake news. 


Yoo Jung Oh, University of California, Davis  - Contact Me


Ji Youn Ryu, Korea University  - Contact Me
Hee Sun Park, Korea University  - Contact Me
Sung Bin Youk, Korea University  - Contact Me