Cultural Diversity in the Globalization Context: The case of the Korean film industry
Sociology Emory University Atlanta, USA
Cultural diversity has been a crucial issue since the impact of globalization has been widely discussed. It is a common claim of opponents of globalization that it decreases cultural diversity by expanding of Western media production into other nations. Previous research studies focusing on the effect of Western cultural products have often overlooked other factors such as the internal dynamics of media market and a governmental policy in other nations. This study intends to provide more comprehensive explanation about cultural diversity in the context of globalization by considering the missing parts. While considering the internal dynamics of market concentration of foreign cultural products as well as the effect of cultural policy on a local cultural industry, this study examines factors that affect the cultural diversity within the context of globalization.
The literature on media production offers competing accounts. From the cultural imperialism thesis and the cyclical account on media industry, the negative effect of market concentration would be expected which is to say that high concentration decrease diversity. The resource partitioning argument and the open system account provide another view - namely that concentration would have a positive effect on cultural diversity. On the other hand, it is also expected the cultural policy in a nation would have an independent effect on cultural diversity in the media industry aside from the market concentration.
The data used in this study comes from "Korean Cinema Yearbook" (1977-2007) published by the Korean Film Council (KOFIC). It includes statistical data and extensive information about films which are produced and distributed in each year. Since the first yearbook (1977) contained data from early 1960s, the researcher could cover years from 1962 to 2007.
I find that increased number of foreign films had a negative effect on the number of Korean films produced. However, I also find that increased market concentration in the film industry had a positive effect on the number of Korean film produced. Cultural policy has either a negative or no effect. Implication of these findings for future research will be discussed.