Title

Desiring biracial whites: cultural consumption of white mixed-race celebrities in South Korean popular media

Publication Date

9-1-2015

Document Type

Article

Abstract

Contextualizing the rise in white mixed-race celebrities and foreign entertainers from the perspective of the globalization of Korean popular culture, this article aims to look at how Korean media appropriates whiteness as a marker of global Koreanness. Specifically, the article utilizes Daniel Henney, a white mixed-race actor and celebrity who was born to a Korean adoptee mother and an Irish-American father, as an anchoring text. Analyzing how Henney’s image as upper-class, intelligent, and cosmopolitan constructs what whiteness means to Koreans, the study asserts that Henney’s (cosmopolitan) whiteness is not a mere marker of race, but a neoliberal articulation of a particular mode of Koreanness. This study not only participates in a dialog with the current scholarship of mixed-race studies in media/communication but also links the recent racial politics in contemporary Korean media to the larger ideological implications of racial globalization.

Publication Title

Media, Culture & Society

Volume

37

Issue

6

First Page

937

Last Page

947

DOI

10.1177/0163443715593050

Version

pre-print, post-print

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