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Title:Self-care will take you to freedom: weight-loss reality TV shows in South Korea
Author(s):Choi, Yoon So
Director of Research:Littlefield, Melissa M.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Littlefield, Melissa M.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Sydnor, Synthia; Cole, C.L.; Hay, James
Department / Program:Kinesiology & Community Health
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
female body-care
consumer capitalistic society
technology of the self
Abstract:Body-care is regarded as an efficient form of self-care for ordinary Korean females in order to transform themselves into an acceptable part of society. There are two goals for this project. The first is to examine the ways in which dominant ideologies of the Korean female body and body-care are continually reproduced through the neo-liberal genre of "body-care reality TV shows". The second is to look at the ways in which body-care, as depicted in weight-loss reality TV shows, can be considered as a new medium for ordinary Korean women to achieve self-fulfillment by taking care of their bodies as an everyday practice of freedom. The theoretical framework of this study is based on Foucault's works of governmentality and the technologies of the self. I have traced the genealogy of the Korean female body, which explains the ways in which traditional Confucian norms and socio-cultural ideologies of the Korean female body have led to the obsession with female body-care in the concurrent society. Tracing such a genealogy shows how body-related reality TV shows have helped to normalize a particular gendered body by formulating and reproducing dominant body ideologies within the cultural, historical, and political contexts of South Korea. Theoretical studies of socio-cultural discourse and the female body, such as this one, encourage cultural studies of sport that explore how gendered bodies have been articulated within relations of power to become a fundamental resource of Western societies. Such studies will contribute to the Department of Kinesiology and help articulate complex social issues related to the human body in daily life in the postmodern era.
Issue Date:2016-04-18
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 Yoonso Choi
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-07-07
Date Deposited:2016-05

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