“Yours Truly, Superman” A Discourse Analysis of the Korean Reality-Variety Show The Return of Superman
Mallare, J. M. (2018). “Yours Truly, Superman” A Discourse Analysis of the Korean Reality-Variety Show The Return of Superman. Unpublished Undergraduate Thesis. University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication.
The Return of Superman is a Korean reality-variety television show where Korean celebrities who are fathers are made to take care of their children without the help or supervision of their wives for 48 hours. Using discourse analysis, this study analyzed selected episodes of The Return of Superman. The analysis of the profiles, culture and identity of the father characters relied on Stuart Hall’s Representation Theory. The process of decoding in the meaning-making and the perception of the show, however, was read under the lens of Liberal Feminism. This lens represented the perspective of the researcher.
The Return of Superman as a genre provided opportunities in its discourse to free the Korean society from patriarchal idelogoies. The father characters were tools to free not only themselves, but also the mothers, children, and the audience, from patriarchal enslavement. The show is also liberative as it opened new perspectives when it comes to the sharing of struggles in child rearing, instead of pitting men and women against each other.
Keywords: Fatherhood, Variety Show, Korean, Representation, Discourse Analysis