From diaspora TV to social media : Korean TV dramas in America

Sangjoon LEE*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book Chapters | Papers in Conference ProceedingsBook ChapterResearchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Korean TV dramas debuted on the airwaves of the U.S. in 1975, exclusively for overseas Korean communities in an entry-port city, Los Angeles. They then began circulating through two Korean diasporic media outlets: Korean-language TV stations and video rental stores. The latter were in Koreatowns in major metropolitan cities, such as Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Washington D.C., and Atlanta. This well-maintained, two-channel system has, however, considerably frayed in the new millennium as U.S. consumption patterns of Korean dramas expeditiously migrate toward video streaming websites like YouTube, Hulu, and Netflix, and online-based fan communities whose ethnic identity is not necessarily Korean. Since the early 2000s, myriad illegal web services and social media networks have provided, shared, and disseminated Korean TV dramas, along with K-pop, to the mainstream users/viewers in the United States that eventually resulted in the first legitimate video streaming service The aim of this chapter is to historicize and analyze the distribution, circulation, and reception of Korean TV dramas in the United States, from diasporic TV, exclusively for Korean immigrants, to the mainstream media market, in the age of social media.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHallyu 2.0 : The Korean Wave in the Age of Social Media
EditorsSangjoon LEE, Abé Markus NORNES
PublisherUniversity of Michigan Press
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9780472120895
ISBN (Print)9780472072521, 9780472052523
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'From diaspora TV to social media : Korean TV dramas in America'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this