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Korea and Orientalism

Is Orientalism, as posited by Edward Said, still alive and well in the West’s new fascination with all things Korean? The skyrocketing popularity of kpop and kdramas, the flood of Western youtubers and vloggers living and working and documenting their time in Korean, are these healthy signs or signs of a distorted obsession?

A case in point would be the new tv series named Dramaworld, where a kdrama obsessed American woman is transported to the world of one of her beloved dramas. This fusion show, while a comedy, suggests that Westerners love the version of Korea that is presented in these fictional worlds. But is the version that Westerners have fallen in love with warped their ability to appreciate the actual Korea?

  • Interesting topic, but if someone were to attempt to write it, I think it would be wise to have a little more focus. I like your use of the example (although I'm not sure if I'd call it "a case in point" just yet) of Dramaworld, so perhaps a better way to frame the article would be as something along the lines of "Dramaworld: Korean Orientalism in 21st Century Television". This still allows the freedom to touch on all of the key points you've addressed (Said's theoretical framework, the rising popularity of kpop and kdramas, increased fascination by vloggers, the warped perception of culture from the Western gaze, etc), but they all become supplementary examples to support a more concrete thesis surrounding one very tangible example. Examining the subject through the lens of this show would be a strong way of tightening this otherwise broad topic. – ProtoCanon 5 years ago
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  • Interesting topic as orientalism is still very prevalent today. You've got great points in those questions and seem well-informed with Said's theory - you're off to a good start! One thing you could add at the end is to discuss where the fine line between this obsession becomes orientalist or simply a celebration of their culture. – Joie 5 years ago
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