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Soap operas as a matchmaker: A cultivation analysis of the effects of South Korean TV dramas’ on Vietnamese women’s marital intentions
Unformatted Document Text:  SOAP OPERAS AS A MATCHMAKER 25   trafficking (Bélanger, et al., 2007; U.S. Department of State, 2007). Studying the causes of such a migration wave is naturally important to societies, especially in the context of rapid globalization. As found in this research, television, a powerful medium, has apparently shaped the minds of many Vietnamese female viewers, deluding them into believing in a glamorous life as depicted in South Korean soap operas, and eventually motivating them to marry a South Korean man. It would be an invalid argument to ignore poverty as a deep-rooted cause for various types of migration in general and transnational marriage migration in particular (Nakamatsu, 2003; Constable, 2005; Oishi, 2005; Piper, 2003, 2008; Robinson, 1996). On the other hand, identifying factors that influence the viewers’ minds in earlier stage where the decision-making process takes place is also notably important. In attempts to prevent the commodification of women, as well as to stop possible involvement of human trafficking in the case of Vietnamese women marrying South Korean men, various organizations and authorities have been working to identify the causes of such a migration wave (Dang, 2006; Lom, 2008). Also, the somewhat blurry line between this type of marriage and human trafficking underlines the concerns among the public at national, regional and global levels. The present results could be useful in adjusting policies and advocacy campaigns to limit the effects of South Korean soaps on young Vietnamese women in rural areas, such as by providing them with realistic information of this foreign country. The findings also confirm the importance of education in general because more education leads to critical thinking and rational decisions. The research has also made some contributions to the theoretical foundation of mass communication. Despite its versatility in studying the effects of television on the audiences in North America (Morgan, 2009), the use of cultivation approach in the Asian market is still limited. The little existing research about Asia focuses on the effects of American television shows (Tan & Suarchavarat, 1988; Weimann, 1984). The present study tests the cultivation theory in a completely new soil. It validated the applicability of the theory in studying television effects. It also offsets

Authors: Vu, Hong.
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SOAP OPERAS AS A MATCHMAKER 
25 
 
trafficking (Bélanger, et al., 2007; U.S. Department of State, 2007). Studying the causes of such a 
migration wave is naturally important to societies, especially in the context of rapid globalization.  
As found in this research, television, a powerful medium, has apparently shaped the minds 
of many Vietnamese female viewers, deluding them into believing in a glamorous life as depicted 
in South Korean soap operas, and eventually motivating them to marry a South Korean man. It would 
be an invalid argument to ignore poverty as a deep-rooted cause for various types of migration in 
general and transnational marriage migration in particular (Nakamatsu, 2003; Constable, 2005; Oishi, 
2005; Piper, 2003, 2008; Robinson, 1996). On the other hand, identifying factors that influence the 
viewers’ minds in earlier stage where the decision-making process takes place is also notably important.  
In attempts to prevent the commodification of women, as well as to stop possible involvement 
of human trafficking in the case of Vietnamese women marrying South Korean men, various 
organizations and authorities have been working to identify the causes of such a migration wave 
(Dang, 2006; Lom, 2008). Also, the somewhat blurry line between this type of marriage and human 
trafficking underlines the concerns among the public at national, regional and global levels. The 
present results could be useful in adjusting policies and advocacy campaigns to limit the effects 
of South Korean soaps on young Vietnamese women in rural areas, such as by providing them 
with realistic information of this foreign country. The findings also confirm the importance of 
education in general because more education leads to critical thinking and rational decisions.  
The research has also made some contributions to the theoretical foundation of mass 
communication. Despite its versatility in studying the effects of television on the audiences in 
North America (Morgan, 2009), the use of cultivation approach in the Asian market is still limited. 
The little existing research about Asia focuses on the effects of American television shows (Tan & 
Suarchavarat, 1988; Weimann, 1984). The present study tests the cultivation theory in a completely 
new soil. It validated the applicability of the theory in studying television effects. It also offsets 


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