Consuming Japanese and Korean pop culture in Australia

"Asia literacy" and cosmopolitan identity

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Abstract

This article investigates how young Australians who consume both Japanese and Korean popular culture conceptualise their multicultural identities. Through semi-structured interviews with fourteen fans, I chart how the informants first encountered Japanese and Korean popular culture texts within the Australian mediascape and how this discovery impacted their self-identities. I then analyse the interviews to argue that these fans mobilise their consumption of East Asian popular culture to position themselves as more “Asia literate” than the general Australian public. In so doing, I demonstrate that continued consumption of both Japanese and Korean popular culture in the Australian context potentially boosts inter-cultural communicative competence and thus provides consumers with a cosmopolitan identity. I argue that this cosmopolitanism is based in perceptions of a heightened tolerance for cultural difference that allows the fourteen fans to destabilise “monocultural” understandings of Asia that are common in Australia.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Australian Studies
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020

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