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From Cultural Studies to Global Citizenship Education: South Korean Millennial Women’ Confucian Reception of Hollywood’s Romantic Comedy


Media are not only effective communication tools that transmit messages to the public, but also, powerful pedagogical tools that play an influential role in shaping ideologies as well as values and constructing the identities of viewers. Media have become even more impactful channels of message distribution over decades on a global level as the advancement of technology and the advent of social media have expedited the spread of ideologies and values, mostly transporting the core themes of American neoliberal capitalism. Consequently, today’s global media capitalism has triggered a series of cultural crises resulting from clashes of disparate political, economic, religious, and social ideologies and values of different countries.

This dissertation examines the consequences of global media capitalism by focusing on the spread of American ideologies in Hollywood movies and their influence on Korean women’s identity construction and value formation of their educational and professional goals. The American culture in Hollywood movies is distinctively different from the Confucian culture of Korea; while the former emphasizes liberalism and individualism, the latter encourages preservation of traditional values and collective harmony.

Presuming that movies serve as pedagogical tools that impose direct influences on their audiences, the dissertation examines whether Hollywood movies, specifically romantic comedies, whose recurring theme highlights the significance of romantic relationship in women’s pursuit of happiness, play any determining roles in Korean women’s envisioning and constructing of their future identities as well as projecting and planning their future, by chronicling the experiences of these young women living in the era of cultural and ideological crises.

Finally, this dissertation evaluates the value of cultural studies and media education as feasibly applicable and practicable pedagogical tools for cultivating global citizenship education for the Korean millennial women.

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