SOAS University of London

Centre for Creative Industries, Media and Screen Studies

Thai Reinventions of Korean Dramas: Transnational and Hybrid Culture on Thai Television

Speaker: Isaya Sinpongsporn

Questions of globalisation, transnational media and cultural hybridity have become central concerns in media and communications studies, prominent amongst which is the issue of media ‘contra-flow’ (Daya Kishan Thussu, 2007) - the unpredictable direction of media and cultural influence. The deeply hybridised nature of Thai culture provides fertile material for the analysis of media ‘contra-flow’. This paper therefore takes as its starting point the recent cultural influence of the ‘Korean Wave’ on the Thai media and examines its impact on both contemporary Thai audience reception and media production.

To date three Korean television dramas have been reproduced in Thai versions. This paper focuses on Coffee Prince, the first Korean remake drama, and through close textual analysis explores how Thai producers accept, negotiate and reproduce foreign cultural elements. The study draws comparisons between the Thai version and the original Korean version: it examines how the plots and scripts were adapted to Thai contexts; what elements in Thai version are retained from the original; what elements have been changed to fit the Thai context; and what elements can be regarded as more thoroughly hybridised.