The Korean Wave, Encountering Asia and Cultural Policy
The existing literature on the Korean Wave and Asian cultural flows highlights regional audiences’ inter-cultural encountering and dialogue via transnational media consumption. However, Korea’s experience tells a different story. Contemporary Korea as a pop-culture-sending country has not yet experienced an enthusiastic reception of Asian pop cultures and their virtual encountering with other Asians is relatively limited. Rather, the encounter tends to occur in the real-world settings of transnational tourism that is sometimes linked to the Korean Wave and the Asianised (im)migration. As such, it is divided between the transnational and the multicultural, and the division is affirmed by government cultural policy facilitating commercially-driven inbound tourism and population policy concerned with social integration of marriage immigrants and their families. The consequence is the lack of reflexive, cross-cultural dialogues ‘inside’ the country. This might be an indicator of the disjuncture in cultural regionalisation itself: the flow of media content and the flow of people, who bring their own language and way of life with them, may take their own routes, providing members of a society with different sorts of experiences of encountering others and making (or not making) connections with them.
KeywordsKorean Wave Cultural policy South Korea Encountering Asia Korean pop culture Multiculturalism Multicultural family
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