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Gender Roles in South Korea

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Ebube Nwadiei

on 7 May 2014

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Transcript of Gender Roles in South Korea

Overpowering men; father-figure qualities
Men are the only ones that can protect their love interest
Men are in total control over relationships, and are the decision makers
This control/dominance is often acted through forms of aggression
Forced kisses
"I'll take responsibility"
In Conclusion
History of Gender Roles in South Korea
Nae-Oe-Beob - Was a representative of the domestic sphere and the men of the public sphere.
A woman's social role was subordinate to all of the men in her life.
A woman was expected to maintain harmony in the household and avoid conflict.
If a man had no sons, it wasn't odd for him to take a concubine.
City Hunter
Although Kim Nana is a trained body guard, she stood there as if she had no idea what to do and had to wait for Yoon Sung to come and save her.


Forgetting about herself and her feelings, Kim Nana selflessly puts Yoon sung and his feelings before herself.


Helpless Woman
Women in Korean dramas tend to be portrayed as fragile, tender, and soft.
They put their male partners and love before themselves.
In the early 2000's, the trend in dramas was for women to be seen as attractive, soft, humble, tender, and indebted to the male lead, even though he doesn't return any of the affection that she gives him.
The women usually put developing romantic relationships before developing professionally.
Some of the most popular dramas, around 2006, had female protagonists that were direct, strong-willed, and not willing to sacrifice their career for the male character.
The working-class tended to identify with the more domestic female characters, while the well-educated preferred the strong and independent female characters.
The man tends to be very wealthy, and the woman very poor.
Gender-Bending is a recent trope that has gained popularity in Koren Dramas, with popular dramas being Secret Garden, Coffee Prince, and Sungkyunkwan Scandal
Gender-Bending traditionally is seen with the female character disguising herself as a male, and assuming the power, rights, and privileges of that gender
One of the important points about gender-bending is that it provides both the female and male characters to be viewed as equals
Gender-bending also makes gender stereotypes and gender roles apparent
There is also an interesting disconnect between female and male gender-bending
Female vs. Male portrayals of gender-bending
Gender Roles in Dramas
By: Anna Balmilero
James Kwon
Ebube Nwadiei

South Korean Gender Roles Portrayed In Korean Dramas
Secret Garden
In Secret Garden, both the female and male protagonists switch bodies, resulting in a unique interpretation of traditional gender-bender formula. However, the body swaps highlight the rigid gender roles in Korean society

Coffee Prince
Coffee Prince highlights the importance of physical traits when interpreting gender,
Media plays an important role in perpetuating and creating gender roles and stereotypes.
Korean gender roles / social equality are decades behind their US counter-part.
Due to increased globalization, Korea has been taking huge strides forward.
Before After
Dominant Men
Although Kim Tan is waiting for Cha Eun Sang because he likes her, he begins to yell at her as she comes out of the door. As she tries to walk away, he grabs her wrist and pulls her into the car against her own will.
Heirs and Boys Before Flowers
This begins with Goo Joon Pyo teasing Jandi about valuing a quarter. He then proceeds to grab her wrist and push her into his car. She continues to say no, but follows him as he takes her to the airport.
Secret Garden and Coffee Prince
Full transcript