Interrogating Cinema, TV, Music and Online Games
Edited By Andrew David Jackson and Colette Balmain
Marion Schulze - 14 Inappropriate Desire and Heterosexuality Negotiated: The Case of Women K-Drama Watchers
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14 Inappropriate Desire and Heterosexuality Negotiated: The Case of Women K-Drama Watchers
Heterosexuality is usually understood as the unspoken, undeniable gendered norm in post-industrialised societies. But despite the fact that only certain ways of doing heterosexuality are intelligible, this norm is often presented as homogenous and non-negotiable. While we know much about the diversity of ‘divergent’ sexualities, thanks to Queer Studies, heterosexuality – especially how it is lived, performed and negotiated in everyday life – is still paradoxically somewhat of a black box in contemporary research.1 To shed some light on it, a study of the reception of South Korean television series, K-dramas – and especially its main subgenre, romances – by international female fans as expressed on blogs and message boards proves to be a highly heuristic sociological laboratory. International female fans recurrently relate watching K-dramas to their own heterosexual desires, discussing and negotiating their desires and different ways of being heterosexual. In doing so, beliefs they hold on heterosexuality and the heterosexual norm sets to which they pertain also become discernible, especially when transgressed by international fans. Hence, the analysis of K-drama watchers’ online statements helps to better understand workings of heterosexuality and its institutionalised facets that play out in everyday ← 293 | 294 → situations like online exchanges. This doesn’t mean that non-heterosexual desire cannot inform watching K-dramas, or that heterosexual desire can also be questioned and put to the test through watching them. However, my concern in this chapter is...
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