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Transnational audience reception as a theater of struggle: young Filipino women's reception of Korean television dramas

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This study examines the ‘theater of struggle’ in young Filipino women's reception of Korean television dramas in view of the American cultural imperialism that is deeply entrenched in the Philippine society. Mainly anchored on Gramsci's concept of hegemony and Stuart Hall's encoding-decoding theory, the researcher conducted a reception analysis through a textual analysis of selected Korean television comedy-dramas and focus group discussions with young Filipino women in different colleges. The young Filipino women expressed cultural affinity with the culture, storylines, values, and environment in Korean and other Asian television dramas that have invaded the Philippines in the twenty-first century. ‘Negotiation, resistance, and struggle’, in Hall's sense, against both the liberalism in American dramas and the pre-modern themes in local dramas were manifested in the young women's discourses. Consequently, American cultural imperialism in the Philippines was undermined, challenged, and to some extent subverted. The study also looked into the young women's dominant, negotiated, and oppositional readings of the dominant capitalist patriarchal values and ideologies that were embedded in selected Korean dramas. While there were young female participants who subscribed to global capitalist values showing their cooptation within Western cultural hegemonic domains, the young women largely articulated negotiated readings of capitalist values and oppositional readings with regard to the dominant ideology of capitalist patriarchy. In reading the selected Korean dramas reflexively, the young women identified social pathologies of poverty, class inequality, and capitalist patriarchal values and constructed emancipatory discourses with regard to these.

Keywords: Philippines; culture studies; focus group interview; popular culture; television

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Humanities Division, Cebu College,University of the Philippines, Philippines

Publication date: August 1, 2011


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