Stephanie Lo Humanities and Social Science
Understanding the 'Korean Wave': The Role of Korean Soap Operas in Asian-American Identity, Pleasure and Cultural Proximity
This summer I will be investigating why Asian Americans engage in (inter)cultural viewing of Korean soap operas. I am interested in tying this question in with the Korean wave, that is, the general enthusiasm for Korean pop culture, but also to larger questions of pan-Asian identity, language and cultural proximity. To answer these questions, and hopefully more that I have not yet thought of, I will be viewing the most popular Korean soap operas and interviewing other viewers. I will also be engaging in Internet ethnographynetnography to further explore viewers opinions and feelings. I will track and monitor chat rooms and fan-sites that are devoted to discussing Korean soap operas. Guiding my research is the notion of the self as the subject-in-progress, one that is shifting, making and re-understanding.