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  • Date Submitted: 07/15/2010 04:54 AM
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Korean TV Dramas in Taiwan:
With an Emphasis on the Localization Process
Kim Hyun Mee

Abstract
Most research on the Korean pop culture wave in Korea has had a tendency to emphasize the universal superiority of Korean culture or the economic effect of the phenomenon based on economism. This paper aims to provide a detailed empirical case on the concrete processes of distribution, circulation, and consumption of Korean pop culture in Taiwan using the specific case of Korean TV dramas. Taiwan has been one of the biggest importer of Korean dramas. The images delivered through the Korean TV dramas have very much influenced the Taiwanese to view contemporary Korean society as a country of modern and urban elegance, and woman-centeredness. This article also stresses that the popularity of the Korean drama can be understood in the context of the specific reprocessing and consumption system in Taiwan to reduce the high economic risk of the business. One way of adapting that has been developed to maximize profits and minimize the risks of the cultural industry is the accompaniment of various localization processes. The localization process sometimes entails the “hybridity” of the Korean drama’s text as well. Keywords: globalization, Korean pop culture wave, Korean TV dramas, Taiwan, localization, cultural industry, gender, trendy dramas, fans, hybridity

Kim Hyun Mee (Kim, Hyeon-mi) is currently an associate professor of the Department of Sociology and the chair of the Graduate Program in Culture and Gender Studies, Yonsei University, Korea. She received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from University of Washington in 1995. Her current research includes the Korean pop culture flow in the Asian regions and global migration issues including cross border marriage in Korea. She is the author of the book Geullobeol sidae-ui munhwa beonyeok (Cultural Translation in a Global Era) (2005). E-mail: hmkim2@yonsei.ac.kr.

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KOREA JOURNAL / WINTER 2005

Korean TV Dramas in...

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