The Influence of the Korean Hallyu on the Young People of the Mekong Region
The Korean Hallyu is a government-inspired campaign of media production aimed both at promoting exports levels but also at repositioning the country as being at the centre of Asian cultural production. This enhances its soft power. As part of the movement of the country into high income status at a rapid pace, the government has recognized the need to highlight intellectual property creation and advanced services as a means of moving society and economy forward. This has resulted in the wave (Hallyu) of television drama, film, pop music, dance, style and fashion, cosmetics and food which has become so popular in East Asia and further afield. The Hallyu has become particularly prominent in parts of the Mekong region, where it has helped recreate the perception of Korea inspired by its historical role in the Second Indochinese War and as a purveyor of Fordist factory labour with a reputation for strict management. This paper explores the perceptions of the Hallyu among the young people of the region through content analysis of popular media and online sites. The variations in preferences and modes of consumption are explored and related to deeper social and cultural traits in the places investigated. The progress of the Hallyu is also analysed, since there is an inevitable ephemerality in the popular media being used and a need, therefore, constantly to recreate the offerings made and the range of sectors within popular culture being used. This helps shape concluding predictions for the future of the phenomenon.
Dr. Lavanchawee Sujarittanonta, I-Shou University, Taiwan
This is an abstract of another paper to be presented at the International Workshop on Korean Trade and Investment in the Mekong Region.