Symbolic Distancing: Indonesian Muslim Youth Engaging With Korean Television Dramas

Abstract

This article deals with Indonesian Muslim youth engaging with Korean television dramas. This article employs observation and interview among 43 Indonesian Muslim youth. This study has shown that there is symbolic distancing that happens in Indonesia because of Islamic and Hallyu’s interaction and negotiation. Based on symbolic distancing concept, Indonesian Muslim youth engaging with Korean TV dramas involves the localized appropriation. Indonesian young Muslims believe that it is crucial to preserve Islamic values while consuming Korean TV dramas. Images and representations of Korean TV dramas basically do not reduce their Islamic identity. Ultimately, images and representations in Korean television dramas support their Muslim identity. Indonesian Muslim youth who enjoy watching Korean television dramas learn from the scenes depicted. However, these young Muslims also negotiate or even oppose the representations which contradict with their Islamic understandings. These images and representations have been appropriated based on their Islamic values.