So let’s talk about my previous post, regarding my experience watching Korean dramas.
Early in this video we can see how I point out my bias against the idea of even participating in watching a Korean drama, this is because I felt that it wouldn’t be something that I would enjoy watching. In regards to this I’d like to briefly reference Christiane Kraft Alsops autoethnographic work in regards to the idea of home and away in the German language. I found her analysis very interesting in regards to her questions of the meaning of what is defined as ‘home’ and what is ‘away’ or ‘foreign.’ By exploring these ideas, it made me consider that even when self-reflecting on my position and history in regards to Korean dramas I’ve never once considered why I consider the idea of watching Korean dramas foreign to me culturally. After all, I wouldn’t define k-pop and anime as foreign ideas culturally to me as I’m very familiar with them and enjoy them. K-dramas however, are something that I was uncomfortable with the idea of participating and involving myself with.
This sense of deliberate avoidance of participating in K-dramas is an interesting point as Ellis would suggest in an autoethnographic stance, I need to consider myself within the actual research. Placing myself inside, I know a little of Korean culture though that is mostly based on the emergence on E-sports and has very little to know about the south Korean entertainment industry other than perhaps the idea of what k-pop music videos sound and look like. This was my prior involvement with Korean cultural exports until my involvement with the K-drama ‘Part Time Idol.’
I noticed when reviewing my video on K-dramas that I was perplexed in regards to one of the characters bowing before she raps. I on the spot, theorised that perhaps it was culturally acceptable, to bow before and after rapping in South Korea however after doing my research now I have some doubts that this is the case.
In this source an anonymous writer writes in detail about the culture of hip hop within South Korea with mentions of how it fully inclusive of everyone regardless of age, however even in all the many sources of hip hop performers/artists I couldn’t find any evidence of a culture of bowing as part of hip hop at all.
Because, I couldn’t find anything relating the act of bowing to hip hop in made me curious as to why the filmmakers had the actor bow at all, what was the significance or point of this occurring, other than this I hadn’t seen any of the other characters bow at all other than in this hip scene.
This is why I endeavored to look at bowing as a cultural phenomenon in Korea, what I found was an article by Keith Kim who wrote that it isn’t uncommon in an informal setting that a ‘simple bow is used when saying, hello, bye and thank you.’
It is also used in important meetings with a much lower and longer bow, to display more respect.
With these ideas, I have come to a new hypothesis regarding the rapping bowing scene in Part Time Idol.
Perhaps I’m wrong, but given that Part Time Idol is a comedic show, maybe the act of the character bowing before rapping is actually for comedic effect, because it’s somewhat irrational for you to politely greet someone by bowing, and then immediately roast them verbally through the form of rap. I surmise that this is possibly the intention of the film makers, in this scene. However, I can’t say that this is 100% correct as this is simply how I have come to a conclusion after a little bit of research into hip hop and bowing culture in Korea.
Alsop, C Kraft. 2002, ‘Home and away: Self-Reflexive Auto-/Ethnography’,
Forum: Qualitative Social Research. 3:3
Ellis, C. Adams, T.E., and Bochner, A.P. 2011, ‘Autoethnography: An Overview’, Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 12:1.
Kim, K 2013 ‘When and How to Bow in Korea’ , Seoulistic,
Anonymous, 2017 ‘A Look into Korean Hip-Hop Culture’, Medium.
Sweet, J D. 2017 ‘An Autoethnographic of Masculinities: Flexibility and Flexing in Guyland’ International Journal of Education & The Arts. 18:35
Retrieved from: http://www.ijea.org/v18n35/
Pitard, J. 2017, ‘A Journey to the Centre of Self: Positioning the Researcher in Autoethnography.’ Forum: Qualitative Social Research. 18:3
Retrieved from: http://dx.doi.org/10.17169/fqs-18.3.2764.