Youna Kim

Professor

  • Department(s): 
    Global Communications
  • Graduate Program(s): 
    Global Communications
  • Office: 
    g-3/4 floor
  • Office Hours: 
    On Sabbatical

Youna Kim is Professor of Global Communications at the American University of Paris, joined from the London School of Economics and Political Science where she had taught since 2004, after completing her PhD at the University of London, Goldsmiths College. Previously she had worked as a journalist in the USA and taught at Goldsmiths College during the four years of her PhD study before joining the faculty of the LSE and AUP. Her books are Women, Television and Everyday Life in Korea: Journeys of Hope (2005, Routledge); Media Consumption and Everyday Life in Asia (2008, Routledge); Transnational Migration, Media and Identity of Asian Women: Diasporic Daughters (2011, Routledge); Women and the Media in Asia: The Precarious Self (2012, Palgrave Macmillan); The Korean Wave: Korean Media Go Global (2013, Routledge), Routledge Handbook of Korean Culture and Society (2016, Routledge); Childcare Workers, Global Migration and Digital Media (2017 forthcoming, Routledge); Hallyu and North Korea: Soft Power of Popular Culture (in preparation). 

Kim's books have been reviewed in various academic journals including Media, Culture & Society, Feminist Media Studies, Journal of Communication Inquiry, Discourse & Society, Women's Studies International ForumJournal of Women, Politics & Policy, Political Studies Review, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, Asian Journal of Communication, Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, and the Review of Korean Studies.



Education/Degrees

  • PhD, Goldsmiths College, University of London
  • MA, University of Colorado, Boulder
  • BA, Ewha Woman's University, Seoul

Publications

Books

Women, Television and Everyday Life in Korea book coverKim, Youna (2005) Women, Television and Everyday Life in Korea: Journeys of Hope. London and New York: Routledge. This book has been reviewed in various academic journals including Media, Culture & Society (2007) Vol. 29(1) 170-171, Feminist Media Studies (2006) Vol. 6(4) 559-561, Political Studies Review (2006) Vol. 4(3) 360-361, and the Review of Korean Studies (2010) Vol. 13(2) 227-231.

 

 

Media Consumption and Everyday Life in Asia Book CoverKim, Youna (ed) (2008) Media Consumption and Everyday Life in Asia. London and New York: Routledge. This book considers the emerging consequences of media consumption in people's everyday life at a time when the political, socio-economic, and cultural forces by which the media operate are rapidly globalizing in Asia. The book has been reviewed and introduced in various sites including Asian Journal of Communication (2010) Vol. 20(4) 496-497, and the Guardian newspaper, UK.

 

Transnational Migration, Media and Identity of Asian Women Book CoverKim, Youna (2011) Transnational Migration, Media and Identity of Asian Women: Diasporic Daughters. London and New York: Routledge. This book explores the unstudied nature of diaspora among young Korean, Japanese and Chinese women in the West and challenges the general assumptions of cosmopolitan identity formation as intersected with the media. The book has been reviewed in various academic journals including Journal of Communication Inquiry (2012) Vol. 36(3) 265-268, Inter-Asia Cultural Studies (2013) Vol. 14(3)
 

Women and the Media in Asia: The Precarious Self Book CoverKim, Youna (ed) (2012) Women and the Media in Asia: The Precarious Self. London and New York: Palgrave Macmillan. At a time of significant changes in women’s lives entering a much larger but precarious world of female individualization, this book explores such phenomena by critically incorporating the parameters of popular media culture into the overarching paradigm of gender relations, economics and politics of everyday life. The book has been reviewed in various academic journals including Women's Studies International Forum (2013) Vol. 38(1) 147-149.

 

The Korean Wave: Korean Media Go Global Book CoverKim, Youna (ed) (2013) The Korean Wave: Korean Media Go Global. London and New York: Routledge. This book argues for the Korean Wave’s double capacity in the creation of new and complex spaces of identity that are both enabling and disabling cultural diversity in a digital cosmopolitan world. This book has been reviewed in various sites including Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies (2014) Vol. 77(3): 644-646.

 

 

 

Kim, Youna (2017 forthcoming) Childcare Workers, Global Migration and Digital Media. London and New York: Routledge. 

New research/book in preparation, Hallyu and North Korea: Soft Power of Popular Culture 

 
 
Articles
 
  • Kim, Youna (2005) ‘Experiencing Globalization: Global TV, Reflexivity and the Lives of Young Korean Women’, International Journal of Cultural Studies, Vol. 8(4) 445-463.
  • Kim, Youna (2006) ‘How TV Mediates the Husband-Wife Relationship: A Korean Generation/Class/Emotion Analysis’, Feminist Media Studies, Vol. 6(2) 126-143.
  • Kim, Youna (2006) ‘The Body, TV Talk and Emotion: Methodological Reflections’, Cultural Studies/Critical Methodologies, Vol. 6(2) 226-244. This article has been ranked in The 50 Most-Frequently Read Articles for the journal (updated monthly).
  • Kim, Youna (2007) ‘The Rising East Asian ‘Wave’: Korean Media Go Global’, in Daya Thussu (ed) Media on the Move: Global Flow and Contra-Flow. London and New York: Routledge.
  • Kim, Youna (2008) ‘The Media and Asian Transformations’, in Youna Kim (ed) Media Consumption and Everyday Life in Asia. London and New York: Routledge.
  • Kim, Youna (2010) 'Female Individualization?: Transnational Mobility and Media Consumption of Asian Women', Media, Culture & Society, Vol. 32(1): 25-43. This article has been ranked in The 50 Most-Frequently Read Articles for the journal (updated monthly).
  • Kim, Youna (2011) 'Diasporic Nationalism and the Media: Asian Women on the Move', International Journal of Cultural Studies, Vol. 14(2): 133-151. 
  • Kim, Youna (2011) 'Female Cosmopolitanism?: Media Talk and Identity of Transnational Asian Women', Communication Theory, Vol. 21(3): 279-298.
  • Kim, Youna (2011) 'Globalization of Korean Media: Meanings and Significance', in Do Kyun Kim and Min Sun Kim (eds) Hallyu: Influence of Korean Popular Culture in Asia and Beyond. Seoul: Seoul National University Press.
  • Kim, Youna (2012) 'Female Individualization and Popular Media Culture in Asia', in Youna Kim (ed) Women and the Media in Asia: The Precarious Self. London and New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Kim, Youna (2012) 'Gender and Asia: Why Study Media Culture?', Inter Asia, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain. This article is based on four public talks that Kim has delivered at Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain in 2012.
  • Kim, Youna (2013) ‘Korean Media in a Digital Cosmopolitan World’, in Youna Kim (ed) The Korean Wave: Korean Media Go Global. London and New York: Routledge.
  • Kim, Youna (with Joseph Nye) (2013) ‘Soft Power and the Korean Wave’, in Youna Kim (ed) The Korean Wave: Korean Media Go Global. London and New York: Routledge.
  • Kim, Youna (2013) ‘Korean Wave Pop Culture in the Global Internet Age: Why Popular? Why Now?’, in Youna Kim (ed) The Korean Wave: Korean Media Go Global. London and New York: Routledge. 
  • Kim, Youna (2014) ‘Asian Women Audiences, Asian Popular Culture, and Media Globalization’, in Cynthia Carter, Linda Steiner and Lisa McLaughlin (eds) Routledge Companion to Media and Gender. London and New York: Routledge.
  • Kim, Youna (2014) 'Soft Power and Cultural Nationalism: The Korean Wave' ('Soft Power et Nationalisme Culturel: La Vague Coréenne'), Outre-Terre (French-language) European Journal of Geopolitics, Paris, Vol. 39: 331-337. 
  • Kim, Youna (2014) 'The Korean Wave (Hallyu)', Anthropology News (AN), and Society for East Asian Anthropology (SEAA), USA.
  • Kim, Youna (2014) 'Media, Cosmopolitanism and Modernity: Asian Women in Transnational Flows', forthcoming in Fran Martin and Tania Lewis (eds) Lifestyling Asia: Media, Consumption and Asian Modernities. London and New York: Routledge.
  • Kim, Youna (2014) 'Diaspora, Mobility and Home', forthcoming in Koichi Iwabuchi, Chris Berry and Eva Tsai (eds) Routledge Handbook for East Asian Pop Culture. London and New York: Routledge.
  • Kim, Youna (2014) 'Media Use Patterns in East Asia', forthcoming in Patrick Roessler (ed) The International Encyclopedia of Media Effects. Wiley-Blackwell and the International Communication Association (ICA).
  •  Kim, Youna (2016) ‘Mobile Phone for Empowerment?: Global Nannies in Paris’, Media, Culture & Society, Vol. 38(4): 525-539.
  • Kim, Youna (2016) ‘Diasporic Daughters and Digital Media: Willing to Go Anywhere for a While’,Cultural Studies, Vol. 30(3): 532-547.

Affiliations

Professor Kim has been invited to join the International Editorial Board of the International Journal of Cultural Studies, Communication Yearbook (ICA), Global Media and Communication, and Feminist Media Studies, and the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Social and Political Thought (International Journal of Criminology and Sociological Theory). She reviews book proposals for publishers Routledge and SAGE and serves as a referee for academic journals in the field of media, communications, sociology, cultural and gender studies.

Research Area

Kim's research interests include sociology of media/culture, gender and media globalization, Korea/Asia, media audiences, digital media and everyday life, transnational migration, digital diaspora, cultural identity, cultural and educational consequences of globalization, ‘de-westernizing’ media and cultural studies.

(1) Kim's PhD research has been published as a book, Women, Television and Everyday Life in Korea: Journeys of Hope (2005, Routledge), (awarded research funding from the Overseas Research Students Award from the British government). Korea is currently witnessing huge social change with unprecedented divorce rates and the disintegration of the traditional family system. Fusing audience research and ethnography, this research presents a compelling account of women’s changing lives and identities in relation to the impact of the most popular media culture in everyday life - television. Within the historically specific social conditions of Korean modernization it analyzes how Korean women of varying age and class groups cope with the new environment of changing economic structures and social relations. The central arguments presented revolve around the revelatory and self-reflexive nature of TV talk and its function as a form of empowerment. The research argues that television is an important resource for women, stimulating them to research their own lives and identities. It reveals Korean women to be creative, energetic and critical audiences in their responses to evolving modernity and the impact of the West. Based on original empirical research, it explores the hopes, aspirations, frustrations and dilemmas of Korean women as they try to cope with life beyond traditional grounds.

Kim's new research focus is, ‘De-westernizing Media and Cultural Studies: Opportunities, Obstacles and Learning from Experience’. It explores the cultural and educational consequences of globalization and the inevitable deconstruction of western hegemony in our field. This requires our imaginative responses about the possibilities and forms of ‘de-westernization’. In responses to de-westernization, she has been pursuing the following projects:

(2) One is a funded research/book project, Transnational Migration, Media and Identity of Asian Women: Diasporic Daughters (2011, Routledge), (awarded research funding from the Nuffield Foundation and the GB Sasakawa Foundation). Women are travelling out of Korea, Japan and China for very different reasons than those that sent them into diaspora only twenty years ago. From the mid-1980s onward there has been a rising trend of women leaving their country to experience life overseas either as tourists or students, eventually surpassing the number of men engaging in foreign travel. Why do women move? Starting with this question, her ethnographic research explores the unstudied nature of diaspora among young Korean, Japanese and Chinese women living and studying in the West. What are the actual conditions of their transnational lives? How do they make sense of their transnational lives through the experience of media? Are they becoming cosmopolitan subjects? Her research intends to analyze the contradictions of cosmopolitan identity formation and challenge the (Western) assumptions of cosmopolitanism.

(3) Another de-westernization project is the extension of her PhD research and the edition of a collective book, Media Consumption and Everyday Life in Asia (2008, Routledge). Media audiences are now lively discussed but our debates, theories and teaching are often based upon cases of a few Western societies. An enlarged way of thinking is called for – challenging existing paradigms and providing comparative perspectives. In this research, she explores people’s everyday experience of media in Asian countries currently in confrontation with huge social change and transition. Media culture is creating new connections, new desires and threats, and the identities of people are being reworked at individual, national and global levels. Within historically specific social conditions and contexts of the everyday, she seeks to develop a comparative understanding of the place of media consumption and the links and gaps between the experiences of different locations. Consequences will be addressed in relation to questions of identity, generation, class, gender, sexuality, globalization, and de-westernizing media studies.

(4) Another project is a book volume, Women and the Media in Asia: The Precarious Self (2012, Palgrave Macmillan). Women in Asia have gained higher levels of education and the commensurate expectations have become a driving motor in the women’s aspirations for work, economic power, independence, freedom and self-fulfilment. However, women often experience gendered labour market inequity setting limits on patterns of participation, women’s socio-economic position on the margins of work systems, and thus the illusion of the language of choice that the new capacities of education appear to promise. The enlargement of choice can be particularly illusory for women in contemporary Asia where gendered socio-economic and cultural conditions continue to persist and structure labour market outcomes and lifestyles. Yet signs of female individualization have been proliferating as a defining feature of contemporary modes of identity, albeit untenable and ambivalent, within the discursive regime of self – embodied in regulatory practices in society where individualism is not placed at the heart of its culture. Arguably, the media are central to the signs of emergent cultures of female individualization. At a time of significant changes in women’s lives entering a much larger but precarious world, this book explores such phenomena by critically incorporating the parameters of popular media culture into the overarching paradigm of gender relations, economics and politics of everyday life.

(5) Based in Paris, Kim has been working on a new research/book, Childcare Workers, Global Migration and Digital Media (2017 forthcoming, Routledge). Women are now migrating more than ever; nearly half (49%) of the world’s migrants are women. The gendered phenomenon of global women is part of a larger trend described as the feminization of migration, and a consequence that is increasingly shaped by the new economy of globalization and global inequality. Historically, the feminization of migration from Asia has been associated with low-skilled or unskilled migrants, particularly low-paid labour migration of nannies, domestic workers and so on from less developed countries such as Indonesia, Sri Lanka and the Philippines. This contemporary manifestation has been intensified by the proliferation of new media communications, digital technologies and the deregulation in the 1990s creating multi-vocal, multimedia and multi-directional flows. Kim's research explores the often taken-for-granted important role of the transnational media as mundane migratory resources, individualistic and networked relations that affect the circular flow and provisional trajectory, the extended and selective spatiality, the everyday experience and subjectivity of subaltern women on the move.

(6) A new ‘de-westernization’ project is a cutting-edge volume, The Korean Wave: Korean Media Go Global (2013, Routledge). Since the late 1990s South Korea has emerged as a new centre for the production of transnational popular culture – the first instance of a major global circulation of Korean popular culture in history. Why popular (or not)? Why now? What does it mean socially, culturally and politically in a global context? This book considers the Korean Wave in a global digital age and addresses the social, cultural and political implications in their complexity and paradox within the contexts of global inequalities and uneven power structures. The emerging consequences at multiple levels – both macro structures and micro processes that influence media production, distribution, representation and consumption – deserve to be analyzed and explored fully in an increasingly global media environment. This book argues for the Korean Wave’s double capacity in the creation of new and complex spaces of identity that are both enabling and disabling cultural diversity in a digital cosmopolitan world.

(7) Routledge Handbook of Korean Culture and Society (2016) is a timely extension of the previous volume, The Korean Wave: Korean Media Go Global (2013, Routledge). In the Western imagination, Korea was once thought to be sandwiched between Japan and China and known only for exporting cars and electronics products, but now Korea has made itself known through its culture, especially through the Korean Wave popular media culture including K-pop music, TV dramas, films, animation, online games, smartphones, fashion, cosmetics, food and lifestyles. At this fascinating historical moment, this interdisciplinary Handbook is a timely resource for international readers. It explores the formation and transformation of Korean culture and society; major social phenomena and cultural trends in contemporary Korea, ranging from compressed modernity, educational migration, social class and inequality, gender and family change, youth culture, to popular culture and post-colonial subjectivity, digital Korea, Korean diasporic cultures and cosmopolitanism.