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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 7   Korean soap operas on audiences in poorer countries including Vietnam. However, these studies did not survey audiences directly. Developing countries make up a greater part of East Asia. More research on these countries and especially on audiences, therefore, is much needed. The Context of Vietnam Doi moi, or the economic reform, took place in Vietnam in 1986 and has improved its living standard remarkably (Dollar, 2002; Kubota, Rama, Vu, Ton, Kahin, & Tran, 2010). Doi moi also opened the country to more foreign exposure. Rapid economic growth fuelled the development of Vietnam’s mass media industry. Vietnam also experienced a booming period in its media in the early 1990s. Before that time the number of households that owned television sets was very small. Unger (1991) noted that, in 1988, in Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam, only one in 10 families had a television set. By 2008, 92 percent of the households in the country owned at least one television set (Vietnam's General Statistics Office, 2008). Better access to mass media has provided people with more information on the world at large. Television has been, however, a powerful mass medium for Vietnamese people to receive information about other countries. In Vietnam international marriage migration began to flourish in the mid 1990s as the country’s international integration accelerated (Wang & Chang, 2002). This type of marriage often involved Vietnamese women from impoverished areas moving to another nation to reunite with their husbands (Belanger & Tran, 2009). By 2009, roughly 180,000 Vietnamese women had married foreigners, most from East Asian countries including China, Taiwan, and South Korea (Hugo & Nguyen, 2007; Statistics Korea, 2010a; Le, Belanger, & Khuat, 2007; Vietnam’s Women’s Union, 2008). The number of Vietnamese brides migrating to Taiwan saw a sharp decrease after peaking at 13,000 in 2000. In 2005, this number fell by half (Lom, 2008). In contrast, marriages

Authors: Vu, Hong.
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Korean soap operas on audiences in poorer countries including Vietnam. However, these studies 
did not survey audiences directly. Developing countries make up a greater part of East Asia. 
More research on these countries and especially on audiences, therefore, is much needed. 
The Context of Vietnam   
Doi moi, or the economic reform, took place in Vietnam in 1986 and has improved its 
living standard remarkably (Dollar, 2002; Kubota, Rama, Vu, Ton, Kahin, & Tran, 2010). Doi 
moi also opened the country to more foreign exposure. Rapid economic growth fuelled the 
development of Vietnam’s mass media industry. Vietnam also experienced a booming period in 
its media in the early 1990s. Before that time the number of households that owned television 
sets was very small. Unger (1991) noted that, in 1988, in Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam, only 
one in 10 families had a television set. By 2008, 92 percent of the households in the country 
owned at least one television set (Vietnam's General Statistics Office, 2008). Better access to 
mass media has provided people with more information on the world at large. Television has 
been, however, a powerful mass medium for Vietnamese people to receive information about 
other countries. 
In Vietnam international marriage migration began to flourish in the mid 1990s as the 
country’s international integration accelerated (Wang & Chang, 2002). This type of marriage often 
involved Vietnamese women from impoverished areas moving to another nation to reunite with their 
husbands (Belanger & Tran, 2009). By 2009, roughly 180,000 Vietnamese women had married 
foreigners, most from East Asian countries including China, Taiwan, and South Korea (Hugo & 
Nguyen, 2007; Statistics Korea, 2010a; Le, Belanger, & Khuat, 2007; Vietnam’s Women’s 
Union, 2008).   
The number of Vietnamese brides migrating to Taiwan saw a sharp decrease after 
peaking at 13,000 in 2000. In 2005, this number fell by half (Lom, 2008). In contrast, marriages 

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