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Rethinking media flow under globalisation: rising Korean wave and Korean TV and film policy since 1980s

By Ju Young Kim


The rising popularity of Korean contents in Asia known as Hanryu ('Korean\ud Wave'), which was partly supported by Korean cultural policy, has many\ud implications with regard to cultural policy in periphery countries under\ud globalisation and the open-door versus cultural diversity debate. This thesis\ud assesses how recent cultural opening under globalisation in Korea has affected\ud Korea's cultural industries both quantitatively in terms of economic performance\ud and qualitatively in terms of cultural content, identity and diversity. These\ud questions are examined in the context of the changing relationship between the\ud cultural industries and cultural policy in Korea since the end of the 1990s. The\ud research draws upon statistical data, historical material and interviews.\ud By researching how the Korean experience has developed, this thesis attempts to\ud look at Hanryu not just as a phenomenon in its own right, but also considers the\ud secondary impact of this phenomenon on perceptions of culture and identity. In\ud particular the thesis considers Hanryu in terms of the cultural influence on\ud neighbouring countries manifest through tourism and a new interest in Korean\ud language and culture. Such cultural effects are less easily measured than\ud economic data but are important to an understanding of causes and effects of\ud Hanryu. Finally this thesis places the Korean experience in the broader context of\ud cultural policy in periphery countries responding to globalisation and the\ud relationship between national cultural policy and the global cultural economy.\ud It is still too early to reach conclusions on the future of Korean cultural industries\ud based simply on the recent trends However, since the mid 1990s, the Korean\ud cultural industries have been transformed dramatically. Cultural policy has\ud contributed to this trend and strengthened the competitiveness of Korea's cultural\ud industries. At the same time the thesis considers some of the limitations and\ud criticisms of Hanryu, including potential loss of cultural diversity and an anti-\ud Korean backlash in some other Asian countries.\ud The Korean cultural industries have benefited from imitating the Hollywood\ud system and developing a distinctive hybrid cultural content and business model.\ud This has made possible an alternative approach to policy and management which\ud lies between two extremes of protectionism and free market ideology. The thesis\ud comments on some of the difficulties and limitations in sustaining such a balance\ud and concludes by considering the sustainability of Hanryu both in Korea and in\ud the broader Asian context

Topics: PN1990
OAI identifier: oai:wrap.warwick.ac.uk:1153

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