CDCS Talk: Dasol Kim, Annenberg School

February 28, 2022 12:30pm-1:30pm
  • Virtual Event
Audience Open to the Public

"K-beauty, Colorism, and Global Digital Platform"


About the Talk

K-beauty practices, once a part of local South Korean beauty culture, are now becoming global cultural commodity thanks to the success of K-pop and K-drama. In the process, K-beauty creates tension on the global beauty/media scene especially around its beauty ideal: the light skin preference. This talk explores the implications of transnational encounters in beauty cultures on the digital media platform YouTube, with a special focus on the complex power relations between Western vs. non-Western cultures and distinctive racial dynamics in the United States and South Korea. By using multiple data including the Black Girl Tries Korean Makeup YouTube videos, comments, and the module titled “Building a Global Chanel” in YouTube Creator Academy, this talk examines cultural flow on the digital platform as a site of transnational power negotiation. I argue that the mission of a global channel geared toward profitability and entertainment should be reimagined and redesigned in a way it could promote deeper understandings of diverse cultures, and intercultural and interracial sensitivity.

About the Speaker

Dasol Kim

Dasol Kim is a postdoctoral fellow with the Center on Digital Culture and Society. She studies issues of race and gender in digital media spaces, with a special focus on influencer culture, the platform economy, and the transnational connection between East Asia and the US.

Utilizing the lens of critical race theory, transnational feminism, and digital media studies, Kim examines various data and the digital infrastructures of platforms such as YouTube and Twitter. She employs a mixed-method approach that combines social network analysis with qualitative discourse analysis.

As a CDCS fellow, she is currently working on a book manuscript titled “K-beauty Project: Transnational Beauty and Digital Media Platform” that examines the intersection of identity entrepreneurship and platform capitalism with a case study of Korean beauty discourse on YouTube.

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