Transnational Sport: Gender, Media, and Global Korea
Based on ethnographic research in Seoul and Los Angeles, Transnational Sport tells how sports shape experiences of global Koreanness, and how those experiences are affected by national cultures. Rachael Miyung Joo focuses on superstar Korean athletes and sporting events produced for transnational media consumption. She explains how Korean athletes who achieve success on the world stage represent a powerful, globalized Korea for Koreans within the country and those in the diaspora. Celebrity Korean women athletes are highly visible in the Ladies Professional Golf Association. In the media, these young golfers are represented as daughters to be protected within the patriarchal Korean family and as hypersexualized Asian women with commercial appeal. Meanwhile, the hard-muscled bodies of male athletes, such as Korean baseball and soccer players, symbolize Korean masculine dominance in the global capitalist arena. Turning from particular athletes to a mega-event, Joo discusses the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan, a watershed moment in recent Korean history. New ideas of global Koreanness coalesced around this momentous event. Women and youth assumed newly prominent roles in Korean culture, and, Joo suggests, new models of public culture emerged as thousands of individuals were joined by a shared purpose.
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