This chapter analysis the way Korean and Australian media represents their respective celebrities. To understand the argument in cultural context, media role in society needs to be comprehended. Media plays an important role in representing the celebrities of their country to the people and creates a positive or negative image. This not only influences local audience but also impacts the country’s cultural and social image in front of the world. Many factors and theories have been introduced to understand the value of culture and media representation (Schiffman 2012). A system of fixed beliefs that are not influenced by social or political norms is essentialism. Culturist is an essentialist perspective of culture, which further can be pushed to fundamentalism, colonialism or terrorism (Chatfield 2016). Media has a profound influence on Korean society. A celebrity is a person who is famous and widely recognized among a set of people and given special media attention. Media representation of a celebrity is a depiction or constructed an image in any of the mediums like TV, Radio, magazines or newspapers. Representation involves operations of series of events or news (Chatfield 2016). Celebrities generally become popular due to continuous and global attention. This report depicts the comparative media representation of Korean and Australian media representation of celebrities (Jouhki 2008).
Inglis (2010) asserts that Culture and technology combine to produce celebrity. If media don’t share information about celebrities with common people, the existence of celebrities will be unknown keeping them away from fame. Celebrities of any country are assets that help in building a socio-cultural image of any nation (Markula. 2009). Korea on one side is known for its patriarchal culture restricts from Confucian tradition. Media is considered to be an area for men and women community has to pass through many struggles to remain in this field. Korean celebrities are represented in management and radio as women trying to imitate men instead of their position due to talent (Pedersen 2017).
Aussie celebrities and Korean celebrities
Celebrities from both countries have personality’s superior to ordinary people that make them known faces among society. The celebrities are stereotyped as strong bodies with prefect skills that help them escape all dangers and issues in their daily life. They are also considered to be noble persons. Media exemplify the representation about celebrity lifestyle as the one that is extra ordinary and inspires a number of people to follow them. Media does not always reflect reality but may create reality also.
Celebrities of any country represent the country’s culture. For an instance, Korean popular music ‘K-pop’ showcase the country’s talent and urbanity. ‘Girls generation’ is among the famous groups of K-pop. In comparison to Australian celebrities who are well accepted globally, Korean popular faces are on the periphery of world recognition. Leading role of Australian stars is also to exert global influence (Schiffman 2012). Media represent them as pointers to the cultural formation. Not only their media representation but also the content of their cultural commodities are also essential for viewers’ reception. Their stardom is also exemplified till the time they are in their cultural boundaries. Now days, media systems are also privatized, making celebrities playing important role in cultural dispersion. Globalization of cultural commodities pressurizes media to be the only way of celebrity representation. Both Korean and Australian celebrities are representing their countries through their actions and different cultural events (Pedersen 2017). These can be dubbed in many other languages to make an impact globally however local cultural concepts are non-translatable. The verses are self-explainable.
Although beauty standards vary from place to place they play a vital role in the celebrity life. These ethics are different in Korean and Australian culture also, however, beauty is the centre point of media representation of celebrities of both countries. Naturally beautiful face and body is a stereotype image whenever there is a representation of any celebrity. The Australian celebrities are generally fair with blonde hair and tanning is a usual practice there. On the other hand, Korean celebrities have Asian features with usually black hair and prefer to make maximum use of fairness products (Simpso, Murawska and Lambert 2009). Media represents Korean celebrities as most beautiful, youthful with healthy and glowing skin. However Korean celebrities have a well shaped body but do not inherit naturally beautiful features in comparison with Australians.
Korean female celebrities still follow the feminine stereotypes. Media represents classify behavioural features as feminine and masculine. With this act, it reinforces the social stereotypes. Considering sports celebrities, it can be noted that media does not generally challenge male dominancy (Schiffman 2012). Neutrality of media representation is missing in Korean celebrity lives. The female personalities still are being seen as the subject of good looks. The female players are criticized for their revealing bodies when they follow the dress codes for few games such as swimming or Gymnastics etc. On the other side, Australian celebrities enjoy equality among their counter parts. Media represent the celebrities as per their roles and performances instead of their gender (Merkin 2012).
Essentialism is an approach that explains that any skill has a sense of essence or trait that makes an object what it basically is made of. Cultural values play a vital role in the media representations. Korean media does not abandon linguistic essentialism as readers and viewers want them to pose as guardians of language and explain it as the definition of Korean linguistic nationalism. The Korean celebrities don’t open themselves to transculturation whereas Australian celebrities believe in hybridist. As per Australian media, basically aborigine popular faces are famous internationally too. Media highlights their skills and expertise instead of identity.
There are few preconceived opinions also that affect the media representation of Korean celebrities. This prejudice not only represents Korean personalities in biased form but also deteriorate their fame among their followers. Based on their image in minds of viewers, they have to endure the racial prejudice of teammates and spectators (Merkin 2012). Few of them get their talent buried due to this and others have to prove their heroism by performance and flourish in the state of discrimination and prejudice. Australian celebrities also face same racial issue some times and have to prove their potential to be in the race. Social media though is a great tool available to them that help them get international fame.
Media also make use of diverse semiotic modes for representing celebrities such as gestures, characters, moves and places etc. The biggest example of famous song “Gangnam Style” which was produced in Korean language but it earned worldwide fame and got popular based on semiotics. Later on, parodies were made famous in different languages. To study about celebrities’ media demonstration, the multimodal representation and interpersonal features can’t be flouted (Markula. 2009). Their cultural content is equally crucial. Based on local media, stardom gets guarded within cultural boundaries. The judgmental views on celebrities help understand the society culture.
Media communication is getting multimodal that has a major section as discourse other than design, production, and distribution. Discourse is nothing but a thought or some sort of constructed knowledge far away from reality. Multiculturalism is used as a mode to argue that discourse drives homogenize signifiers of ethnic differences. Sports, movies, and politics are resources for Korea through which a discourse is produced. It is also considered as a way to uneasy the relations with other countries (Jouhki 2008). As far as Australian media is concerned, celebrities are sort of financial lens through which feminism is refracted. Based on Marshall P.D. 1998, it can be concluded that Australian celebrity is considered as a vital ideological player in public discourse. Thus as per media representation, celebrity is not only involved in entertainment but play a complex role (Jouhki 2008).
In the above chapter, comparative media representation analysis is done on the celebrities in Korea and Australia. All the aspects including socio-cultural importance, essentialism, stereotype, prejudice etc. are considered. Other than this, semiotic modes are also discussed. It has been concluded that celebrities pose as socio-cultural activities that help to establish a unified country. Whether, these are Korean or Australian celebrities; they make a positive contribution in unifying the nation and provide peace-building modes both nationally and internationally (Joo 2013). Their verbal, as well as video contents, are accepted nationally and globally. The major difference is that Australian celebrities are creating a positive impact internationally due to their media approach and support whereas Korean celebrities have to follow the nation’s traditional cultural norms, stereotypes, and restrictions which make them authentically less famous.
Celebrities are fundamental assets to media events too. Thus, it is rightly said that a celebrity is seen as a form of democratization that gives depth to a country’s media culture. And they are known among people in the form represented by media.
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