TV, culture, and audience in Korea: a reception study of Korean drama



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Texas Tech University


Culture consists of knowledge, beliefs, perceptions, attitudes, expectations, values, and patterns of behavior that people learn by growing up in a given society. Television occupies an important place in culture and society. In addition to providing audiences with a variety of entertainment and information services, the electronic media influence culture and help define social reality (McQuail, 1997). As practiced today, television is just one of the windows through which we observe, transmit and reflect our valuation of society to each other. While some argue that the television medium only responds to and reflects the social climate, others suggest that television takes a much more active role in the production of culture. In either case, television is an important object of study.

Since the advent of broadcast audience studies in the 1930s, research has concentrated on two major areas: measuring audience and determining the effects upon various audience groups. All forms of electronic media share the goal of generating audiences. Therefore, the audience is one of the central elements of media studies. For this reason, broadcasting stands in special need of systematic audience research. However, because television consumption typically takes place in private, and also because of the freedom of audience members to tune in or out, broadcasters urgently need objective, scientific, and continuing research to read audiences (Eastman and Ferguson, 1996).