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TITLE
Annyeong, oppa: Constructing the Filipino audience’s identity through the Korean celebrity.

ABSTRACT
Merced, M. A. E. (2017). Annyeong, oppa: Constructing the Filipino audience’s identity through the Korean celebrity. Unpublished Undergraduate Thesis, University of the Philippines, College of Mass Communication.

The Korean wave or Hallyu is known for its pervasiveness in the Philippines as well as around the world. In particular, the Korean celebrity takes center stage in all media of Hallyu: drama, movies, and pop music. The activity of online streaming makes the Korean celebrity more accessible to international audiences, thus increasing the celebrity’s influence on individuals. This paper seeks to analyze how the Filipino streaming audience mediates identity. Particularly, it explores how the Filipino streaming audience mediates their individual identity through their notion of the Korean celebrity.

Scholarship on the celebrity states that the celebrity is an image partly constructed by the audience. The more congruent that image is with themselves, the more they can identify with it. This study analyzes multiple manifestations of identification by looking into the negotiation of meanings created from the audience’s agency and the audience’s perception of the Korean celebrity image. Through the semi-structured interviews of Filipino online streaming audiences of Korean dramas, results reveal multiple manifestations of mediated identity. In particular, the study enumerates four notions of the Korean celebrity of which the audience can identify with: (1) the Korean celebrity as an idol, (2) the Korean celebrity as a mirror, (3) the Korean celebrity as a gateway to Korean culture, and (4) the Korean celebrity as an extension of the individual. The differences of these mediated identities is rooted in how the audience’s agency transforms the Korean celebrity into a site for meaning-making and identity formation.

Keywords: streaming audience, identification, Korean celebrity, mediated identity, celebrity image

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