Oppa Saranghaeyo: Representation of Men in Selected Korean Drama Series

From Iskomunidad


Tolentino, E. J. (2018). Oppa Saranghaeyo: Representation of Men in Selected Korean Drama Series, Unpublished undergraduate thesis, University of the Philippines, College of Mass Communication.

Many Filipinos, especially women and the youth, were drawn to Korean drama series since the programs first aired on Philippine television in 2003. Aside from the themes about love and unique plots of these Korean drama series, Filipinos, especially women, were captivated by how the dazzling male characters were presented in the dramas. Filipinos found new aspirations and new epitomes of an ideal man. The researcher was one of those avid fans whose preference and standards on men were influenced by Korean dramas. Thus, the researcher made this study about the representation of men in selected Korean dramas in order for her to understand the roots of her personal perceptions on the image of man. Using Richard Dyer’s Representation theory and John Fiske’s “The codes of television”, this study pinpointed how the images of men were constructed in Korean Dramas from a Filipina Liberal Feminist point of view. This research analyzed the image of a man by distinguishing its signifiers and interpreting their meanings. The study also distinguished the prevailing patterns in constructing the representation of men in Korean dramas. Based on the selected Korean dramas namely The Heirs, My Love from the Star and Goblin: The Lonely Great God the researcher concluded that an ideal man possesses both masculine and feminine qualities, as per the researcher’s understanding of maleness and femaleness. Men in Korean dramas are portrayed as heroes and dominant over female lead characters but they are also portrayed at home, doing household chores. Although male lead characters are bounded within patriarchal gender system in the drama, the writers and producers struggle to fill the gap in gender asymmetry by enabling women in selected Korean dramas and by attributing feminine characteristics like aegyo and softheartedness to male lead characters. This opens the doors for men to be free from the limits of gender norms. Through selected Korean dramas studied, men and women are given more images and options of what a man can be.

The emerged images pertaining to men in selected Korean dramas can serve as a stepping stone for other researchers who hopes to conduct a study about men in Korean dramas.

Keywords: Korean Drama, representation, Liberal Feminism, ideal man

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Category: College of Mass Communication | Thesis | Broadcast Communication | 2018 Thesis