Consuming Koreanness in contemporary Taiwan : inter-Asia referencing in the post-Cold War East Asia
This dissertation sets out to study the ascendance of South Korea, which shifted from a peripheral to a prominent position in Taiwanese people’s imaginary geography in the twenty-first century. The study investigated the perceptions and sentiments Taiwanese people held against Korea and argued that a body of knowledge regarding Korea has been generated in the Taiwanese society. The research analyzed academic literature, media representations, and viewer/reader reception about the rise of Korea. Complementing on existing Korean Wave studies which focused on the pop cultural flow exported from South Korea, this dissertation studied the socio-economic conditions that produce the flow. The research found that Taiwanese nationalism arose in response to changing regional relations in a post-Cold War East Asia. The rivalry between Taiwan and South Korea exemplified the tension among East Asian nations that has been heightened in an increasingly interdependent East Asia. By contrast to the print capitalism Benedict Anderson proposed in Imagined Communities, this dissertation discussed the “electronic capitalism” which media scholarship has just begun to explore. Due to the compression of time and space accelerated by electronic technologies, Taiwan and other East Asian nations have been incorporated in a highly competitive capitalist culture. The dissertation investigated three industries to probe into Taiwan-South Korea encounters in particular contexts, including the electronics industry, the news media industry, and the media sports industry.