Organized Panel Session
How do contemporary popular cultures in Asia reflect and complicate changing gender roles? From the rise of a female gaze in Bollywood, to the gendered responses of Japanese viewers to Korean media, to changing views of the male body in Japanese idol culture, to gender as the narrative core of Indonesian cinema, the papers presented here all explore gender in fluid, dynamic terms that emphasize change over time. The papers all seek to understand, not how popular culture reflects social trends, but rather how it actively contributes to and shapes its historical context around issues of gender.
Oakes and Davenport explore how Japanese views of South Korea have been impacted by the influx of hallyu media, with special attention to gender and age. Their research seeks new ways of understanding the relationship of popular culture to social change. Kumar shows how Bollywood cinema’s development of a female gaze both reflects and complicates changes in Indian society, with the development of consumer capitalism starting in the 1990s. Tarcov analyzes changing views of the body and masculinity in contemporary Japanese idol culture, showing how the male body no longer functions as an object of heterosexual female desire, but rather as an embodiment of neo-liberal precarity and vulnerability. Muchransyah examines gender in contemporary Indonesian commercial and art cinema, how these two poles create two disparate sets of gendered roles and expectations. Together, the papers presented here offer an inter-disciplinary, transnational study on Asian popular culture and its relationship to changing gender roles.