This course introduces students to the realm of activities that comprise popular culture in East Asia. Students are introduced to a number of major theoretical paradigms in cultural studies, as well as deliberations over what drives developments in contemporary popular culture. Case studies are drawn from, among others, advertising, movies, gadgets, fashion, pop music and social media from around East Asia, with a slight emphasis on Korea overall.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Understand the roots and outcomes of some of the primary idiosyncracies of East Asian popular culture;
- Discuss and question popular practical and theoretical paradigms that apply in cultural studies, and evaluate their merits and shortcomings;
- Examine the historical, social and cultural environments that produce pop products and apply this knowledge to produce critical analyses;
- Construct persuasive hypotheses regarding the root causes of fan behavior and consumption patterns;
- Publicly present and defend ideas and positions.
This is a co-taught course. Any cap on enrolments in one course applies to both courses combined.
- Two literature reviews of 1,250 words each (two of which are due before the mid-term break) (30) [LO 1,2,3,4]
- Wattle quiz (5) [LO 2,3,4]
- Essay presentation (10) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
- Final essay (3,500 words) (45) [LO 1,2,3,4]
In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle.
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WorkloadThe course comprises a weekly load of three contact hours. It demands five hours of tutorial preparation, including assigned readings, and a review of lectures. The total workload for the course is 130 hours including in class time and independent study.
Requisite and Incompatibility
- John FISKE, "Understanding Popular Culture." In Reading the Popular, ed. by John Fiske, pp. 1–42 (London and New York: Routledge, 1990).
- Henry JENKINS, Tara MCPHERSON, and Jane SHATTUC, “Defining Popular Culture.” In Hop on Pop: The Politics and Pleasures of Popular Culture, ed. by Henry Jenkins, Tara McPherson, and Jane Shattuc, pp. 26–42 (Durham: Duke University Press, 2002).
- Sarah THORNTON, “The Distinctions of Cultures Without Distinction.” In Club Cultures: Music, Media and Subcultural Capital, ed. by Sarah Thornton, pp. 1–25 (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1995).
- Millie R. CREIGHTON, “Imaging the Other in Japanese Advertising Campaigns.” In Occidentalism: Images of the West, ed. by James G. Carrier, pp. 135–60 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995).
- Perry JOHANSSON, “Consuming the Other: The Fetish of the Western Woman in Chinese Advertising and Popular Culture”, Postcolonial Studies 2:3 (1999): 377–88.
- Geng SONG & Tracy K. LEE, "'New Man' and 'New Lad' with Chinese Characteristics? Cosmopolitanism, Cultural Hybridity and Men's Lifestyle Magazines in China", Asian Studies Review 36:3 (2012): 345–67.
- Masafumi MONDEN, "Clean-Cut: Men’s Fashion Magazines, Male Aesthetic Ideals, and Social Affinity in Japan." In Introducing Japanese Popular Culture, ed. by Alisa Freedman and Toby Slade, pp. 424–31 (London: Routledge, 2018).
- George RITZER and Allan LISKA, "McDisneyization and post-tourism: Complementary Perspectives on Contemporary Tourism." In Touring Cultures: Transformations of Travel and Theory, ed. by Chris Rojek and John Urry, pp. 96–109 (London: Routledge, 1997).
- Millie R. CREIGHTON, "Consuming Rural Japan: The Marketing of Tradition and Nostalgia in the Japanese Travel Industry", Ethnology 36:3 (Summer, 1997): 239–54.
- Chong GAO, "Embeddedness and Virtual Community: Chinese Women and Online Shopping." In Chinese Women and the Cyberspace, ed. by Khun Eng Kuah-Pearce, pp. 135–54 (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2008).
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