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Naga youth engagement with Korean popular culture: An alternative avenue

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Based on ethnographic research in Nagaland, a north-eastern state in India, this article critically examines the engagement of Naga youth with Korean media focusing on its popularity, meaning-creation and negotiation, against the larger context of Indo-Naga political issues. Naga youth, denied time and space by the Indian mainstream media, have found in Korean media an alternative way to engage themselves. It also examines the complex process of reception of Korean media by the Nagas to re-negotiate the broader terrains of modernity, identity and national culture. The reception process also illuminates the political tensions between the centre and periphery and reflects the political status and identity of the Naga vis-à-vis the mainstream Indian identity. The tension between Naga nationalistic sentiments and de-indianization comes out in this transnational media engagement. And as they carve out an identity in this complex matrix from the local across the global, it is an expanded identity that is highly mediated with remnants of the memories of past injustices and struggles, an identity that goes beyond the borders of Nagaland.
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Keywords: Indo-Naga; Korean Wave; Naga youth; Nagaland; alternative engagement; ethnic identity; mainstream Indian media

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 0000000417619782Sikkim University

Publication date: June 1, 2020

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  • The International Journal of Media and Cultural Politics is committed to analyzing the politics of communication(s) and cultural processes. It addresses cultural politics in their local, international and global dimensions, recognizing equally the importance of issues defined by their specific cultural geography and those that traverse cultures and nations.
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