Korean Wave| Korean Wave Studies as Method: Reconsidering the Television Format Phenomenon between South Korea and China through Inter-Asian Frameworks

Younghan Cho, Hongrui Zhu


This study examines the recent popularity of Korean television shows, their format contracts, and various remakes in China. Rather than focusing on specific cases, it attempts to develop a theoretical understanding on the regional flows of television programs through inter-Asian frameworks. In so doing, it suggests reframing the television format phenomenon between South Korea and China as cultural assemblages, which include not only the details of format contracts but also the reciprocal interchanges of various levels of human, financial, and cultural elements. Approaching television formats as cultural assemblages contributes to framing the format phenomenon as an inter-Asian wave rather than limiting it to a nation-centric approach. In so doing, inter-Asian frameworks approach the format phenomenon as a tool for facilitating cultural encountering, mutual understanding, and social imaginations among regional people. As a conclusion, we suggest that Korean Wave studies is ready to produce a theoretical perspective or concepts and to provide another idiosyncratic yet compatible model in global television studies.


television program, format studies, cultural assemblage, inter-Asian wave, Korean Wave studies

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