South Korea and Me

As Discussed in my previous blogpost autoethnography is described as a phenomena that seeks to systematically analyses personal experience to understand cultural experience (Ellis, C., Adams, T.E., and Bochner, A.P. 2011). This is a documented personal experience and interaction that makes us consider political, social and cultural meanings; but then it is how we enact and make sense of it. This subject, being ‘Digital Asia’ enables me to explore autoethnography within this field of study and how I access, make sense and reflect on the content of Asia. Even the way we access the information is important, and through globalization, being the space and time compression, makes our ability to access ‘Asia’ simpler than ever before which can be done through a simple click of the internet. As to directly quote Chris Moore, we’re connected to the internet through serves, computers and technology, but ultimately through;

– “Huge Mother F**king Cables”

Globalisation contains local knowledge from finance, culture, health, terrorism, surveillance, energy, climate, public sphere and links these localities on a global scale. We are getting the intensification of worldwide social relations that Asia has to offer, and we are obtaining this information through various mediums.

Watching all the films throughout the semester, I realised that I had never even seen an Asian Television drama. I thought it would be interesting to watch a season of a television drama. My initial thought was how am I going to access this content? Then I remembered ‘Netflix’ has a whole international section that I had yet to explore as I was too focused on typical Hollywood/ Westernised programs and films. Through globalisation and the growing interconnectedness of the world, I am now able to access this content legally and securely. I have noticed that to access some Asians shows, especially Anime, it is either very expensive or illegal. I saw that there was quite a number of Korean television dramas, especially the ‘Young Adult’ genre which is something I am familiar with from a Western Point of view. In future, I will need to narrow this down to one television show, to give a more focused study. But to get a contextual understanding of South Korean young adult television culture, I wanted to explore more than one show. I watched the first episode of ‘Boys over flowers’, ‘Hello, My Twenties!’ and ‘Miss Panda & Mr. Hedgehog’. From viewing the first episode of these shows, I made come comparisons to the Westernised young adult shows I am used to.

twit

(Sourced from: https://twitter.com/DanaSaidwhat )

I’ll give a rundown of ‘Boys over flowers’. Firstly, this starts off with an amazingly corny intro song which I noticed, all three of the programs did. This is a Cinderella based story with a private school setting. There are the generic high school dramas of the popular kids, in this case being the rich kids and bulling. The sound effects and video editing during this is quite dramatic and almost humorous. There is also a scene where someone is about to commit suicide and a young woman has the ability to sprint over and catch his hanging body in a matter of milliseconds which really amazes me (This is just a drama/ comedy, so no human could make this physically possible?)

BoF_wallpaper.png

(Image sourced from: https://www.dramafever.com/news/download-boys-over-flowers-wallpapers-for-your-desktop-iphone-ipad-and-android/ )

Hello, My Twenties!’ is a more adult based drama, which looks in the life of people in their 20’s, including relationships, college and meeting new people. Eun- jae shows what being a shy person in a new situation is like and how she deals with her new housemates. Due to the nature of this program I found it most relatable and for this reason; will be the focus of later blog posts and independent project.

hello-my-twenties.jpg

(Image sourced from: https://theafictionado.wordpress.com/2017/01/26/adventures-in-asian-drama-age-of-youthhello-my-twenties/ )

The last show, ‘Miss Panda & Mr. Hedgehog’ is about a baker who hires a new pastry chef, Ko Seunf Ji. The way the name is said In Korean, sounds like the word ‘hedgehog’, which also matches his personality. This is also a drama comedy and a part in this I found interesting is that when Ko was counting, he did it in English.

After watching these three shows I got the gist of what the audience of South Korea likes and it is in fact not that different to shows I like. There’s school dramas, romance, work problems, a new environment which we would watch the protagonist enter and find a sense of rateableness too. This showed me was how universal high school and that we all once just teenagers. All of the shows have a sense of relatability. Viewing this makes me reflect on my personal experience, and growing up in my culture of Suburban Australia

From an autoethnographic perspective, this will be challenging, I have to focus when watching the show and analyse it as it is only subtitled. It is from the contextual understanding of life in Korea which I am unfamiliar with. I will provide detailed content on my emotions feelings and perspective towards the show. So how am I going to tackle my autoethnographic research? I’m considering either a visual essay or blog posts as I feel as though I need to embed videos and provide content that isn’t only written.

Refrences

Ellis, C., Adams, T.E., and Bochner, A.P. 2011 ‘Autoethnography: An Overview‘, Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 12:1, viewed 10th August 2017, http://www.qualitative-research.net/index.php/fqs/article/view/1589/3095

Said, D 2017, ‘Am I an Ethnographer’ WordPress, weblog post, 10 August, viewed 24 August 2017 https://digc330.wordpress.com/2017/08/10/am-i-an-ethnographer/

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3 comments

  1. Hey Dana,
    This post is super clear about what you’re going to further discuss in later posts and the process you’re currently undertaking for the project. I would suggest revisiting Chris’ advice earlier in the semester about creating an us vs. them narrative with too many Western vs. Asian comparatives. If you can more strategically navigate describing your experience in a way that doesn’t focus on perpetuating differences and generalisations your piece will come across more sophisticated and mature.
    Can’t wait to read about your reactions and thoughts soon. Good luck!

    Like

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