Cherie Hu

Cherie Hu

Participant in 2016
Work history University of Leicester, Leicester, UK 2014.02 – 2015.07
Teaching assistant: seminar leader of Master program module MS7003 Approaches to audience studies

University of Leicester, Leicester, UK 2014.03 – 2014.04
Research assistant: assisted qualitative data analysis (focus groups)
Study history University of Westminster, London, UK 2016.01 – expected
Doctor of Philosophy, CAMRI (The Communication and Media Research Institute)

University of Leicester, Leicester, UK 2014.01 – 2015.07
Doctor of Philosophy, Media and Communication

Korea University, Seoul, Korea
Korean language program, Korean language 2011.03-2013.07
Master of Arts, Journalism & Mass communications

Phd Projects


Moving to the West: Media, cultural transnationalism and identity -- Cultural dynamics of Korean women in diaspora

Existing studies on South Korea frame “women on the move” in two ways: either as an undesired effect of Western cultural influence or as a consequence of “liberating” from social gender inequalities. My research project questions these simplistic explanations. I would like to show that the meaning and practices of “leaving the country” represent a process of negotiation among interpretations of media productions, multiple discourses concerning “being international” as “cultural grace” (Cheah 1998; Kim 2011) to mark social status and performing identities. All these considerations frequently intersect with and occasionally contradict each other. I argue that foregrounding the Korean transnationalism as only a culture imperialist practice is a key weakness of the existing literature and produces only partial accounts of media and cultural practices.
Several studies have already examined different pathways through which media can generally lead to the creation of “imagined world” amongst the audience (Apadurai 1989, 1990, 1996; Sun 2002; Fujita 2004, 2006); and, more importantly, how it can contribute to the creation or constant redefinition of identities, especially within a context of transnational mobility (Gillespie 1995; Madianou 2005). Regarding this latter aspect, previous studies aimed to further explore a diasporic perspective on identities, arguing that their construction has been and continues to be transformed through relocation, cross culture exchange, and interaction (Madianou 2005). Building on Foucault ́s work, Butler (1993), for instance, argued that modern notions of identity are made up with regulatory ideals of what normal people are expected to live up to, although in most cases, identities are actually created through social practices as performance. Therefore, the analysis of identity, especially of people in diaspora, should be examined in specific contexts. The proposed research project, hence, aims to study the extent to which the transnational imagination constructed by media influences young Korean female international mobility, thus, leading to the performative identity within the real experience of their transnational lives. In doing so, this study draws on the perceived media discourses of “being international” as a social capital within the Korean society and, at the same time, as a core push factor of the decision to move abroad.
The research design is based on an ethnographic approach to 20 young Korean women residing in the global city of London, in doing so, the study fills several research gaps vis-à-vis the intersectionality between the literature on diasporic audience, media and migration studies. Therefore, regarding the internalised racial discrimination, the ‘white-fetish’ in Korean society and Korean media’s ‘over-embellishment’ on the West, the project also aims to bring it to reconsider identity and provide a critical reflection on it.

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