Africa – Asia Relations through the Prism of Television Drama

How Africans in Hong Kong Conceptualize Korean Culture

in African and Asian Studies
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Even though many African and Asian countries share a common history of European colonialism and thus a model of economic development shaped within the aegis of center-periphery analysis, many Asian countries have been able to ride through the burden of center-periphery economics and built more successful political economies than most African countries. This state of affairs has often led many African analysts to point to Asian success stories like China and South Korea for comparative analysis and often see these Asian countries as models of socio-economic and socio-cultural success to emulate. In particular, Africans in the Diaspora, especially Africans in China, tend to compare very frequently the socio-economic and socio-cultural conditions of their host countries with those of their source countries. This paper outlines and discusses how a group of Africans living in Hong Kong and other parts of Asia see Korea and Korean culture through the prism of Korean television dramas, which constitute a popular cultural phenomenon among Hong Kong/Asian youths. Through qualitative and quantitative survey methods, participant-observation, and questionnaire surveys, the paper reports on how African community members of Hong Kong and others think of Koreans. We show that Africans draw a lot of comparisons between Korean and African ways of conceptualizing the world.

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