Park, Jahyon: Travel Grant - 2017-2018

College of Arts and Sciences
Asian Studies
Project Title: 
The Popularity of Misaeng among Male Audiences and its Reconfiguration of Masculinity in Contemporary Korean Media Studies
Project Abstract: 
This paper examines the popularity of Misaeng as a webtoon (web-based cartoon) series and TV drama to explore its successive transformation in different genres as well as to conceptualize male audiences’ melodramatic response to this body of work. The main discourses in my dissertation are, why Misaeng gained such a huge popularity, particularly among male audiences; and second, what Misaeng indicates in terms of genre transformation and audience reception in media studies; and finally, how this work and male audiences’ reactions challenge the concept of hegemonic masculinity in Gender Studies. In addition, I will explore why Misaeng is important in terms of reading contemporary Korean society and culture through Chang Kyung-sup (1999, 2010)'s concept of "compressed" Korean modernity, East Asian corporate culture, and melodramatic reception.