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The Cultural Political Economy of the Korean Wave in East As

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Ray Gu

on 28 January 2014

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Transcript of The Cultural Political Economy of the Korean Wave in East As

The Cultural Political Economy of the Korean Wave in East Asia: Implications for Cultural Globalization Theories
Global-Local Nexus: The End of Cultural/Media Imperialism?
1. Globalization and Culture
- Globalization means interlinked change of politics, economy, technology, and culture

- Globalization presents a real opportunity for the revival of local cultural identities in different parts of the world

- Globalization is a logical solution to the crisis of Fordism: to shift overproduction and saturation of domestic consumer markets to less-developed parts of the world

- Globalization frees cultures under political economy

The Changing Political Economy of Korean Media
Features within Korean cultural industry
1. More rhetorical/symbolic than economical
2. Rapid transformation in media industry - market liberalization, deregulation, government subsidies and policy interventions
3. Demonstrates Fordism in East Asia. Expansion made possible by
- Universally acceptable images and styles
- Investment from financial sector
- Shared space with certain Asian values

1. Is the Korean Wave an antithetic force against US-centric globalization or a copy of it at the periphery?

2. What role should government play in media development?

3. How to make cultural/media industry more economical? Or should we?

4. As of right now, Korean wave is mainly a phenomenon in Asia only. How to make it more international?

5. What are the different focuses of the first two articles?
I. Reviewing various concepts and theories of cultural globalization (i.e. cultural and media imperialism)

II. Examining factors involved in conditioning the new patterns of cultural flow and media regionalization in East Asia

III. Assessing the roles of national cultural and media policies in promoting national economic competitiveness

IV. Discussing the implications of the Korean Wave

Author: Siho Nam
Presented by: Sirui Gu

2. The Debate over Cultural Imperialism

1. Unequal relations: only the core nations are able to exploit the resources of the periphery nation.
2. Equalizing force: globalization promotes integration and the removal of cultural barriers.


1. Is Cultural Globalization a mere purveyor of US imperialistic interest?
2. Does the US hyper-commercial cultural model apply to East Asia?
The Role of State Cultural Policy
in the Korean Wave

1. Awarding national medallions to entertainers
2. Supporting corporate -driven globalization of media expansion with subsidies, tax exemptions, etc.
3. Structuring conditions under which corporations expand their commercial and administrative authorities
The Korean Wave:
A New Democratizing Force?
1. The Global and the Local
Korean media and pop culture support Korean transnational corporations that are akin to Western taste
Korean wave discovers new sources of profits by creating consuming identities in East Asia
The Korean Wave is limited because it is about localizing the logic of the US hyper-commercial model with Korean spices

Within regions, certain forms of center-periphery relations exist.
The Korean government power has strongly supported the Korean Wave.
Korean media actively emulates U.S media
More changes are in order for the Korean Wave to be a more democratizing force in cultural globalization.
2. Cultural Economics
1. Media and cultural industry serves as a means to boost national economies.
2. Cultural globalization must not be equated with imperialism.
3. The state arranges its cultural policy agenda.
4. The Korean Wave is a response to Fordism in East Asia. More changes are needed for it to become more democratizing.
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