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From shanzhai chic to Gangnam style: seven practices of cultural-economic mediation in China and Korea

Tse, Tommy, Shin, Victor and Tsang, Ling Tung (2020) From shanzhai chic to Gangnam style: seven practices of cultural-economic mediation in China and Korea. Journal of Cultural Economy, 13 (5). pp. 511-530. ISSN 1753-0350

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Identification Number: 10.1080/17530350.2020.1719867

Abstract

This paper examines the social construction of ‘fashionability’–namely, what is ‘desirable’ and ‘fashionable’–with reference to the concept ‘cultural mediators’ that foregrounds agency, negotiation and the contested practices of market actors in cultural production. It zeroes in on the cultural mediators’ attitudes and positions in the two markets by drawing on 25 in-depth interviews with industry veterans. It shows that the mediators in South Korea and China increasingly occupy hybrid occupational roles and social positions across industries and sectors yet achieve limited success in countering the status quo of Western fashion through mediation. The analysis contributes to the literature with a categorisation of seven mediation practices that shape the valuation of fashion products (i.e. ‘fashionability’) in two ways. Empirically, this categorisation illuminates how cultural mediators make reference habitually to the broader social and cultural contexts to co-construct cultural-aesthetic objects. Theoretically, it advances a cultural-economic approach to the understanding of cultural mediation and challenges the reductionist viewpoint of actor–network theory through the notion of a matrix of cultural-economic agency.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Divisions: Sociology
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Date Deposited: 30 Jun 2022 09:30
Last Modified: 30 Jun 2022 09:42
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/115466

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