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The Role of Hallyu in the Construction of East Asian Regional Identity in Vienna

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Ethnographic research in Vienna from 2009 to 2010 revealed how East Asians construct a collective regional identity by consuming Korean popular culture, known as hallyu. This paper is the first attempt at studying these immigrants as a group; scholars in Asian studies have previously focused on one nation. Unlike conventional studies of immigration, which focus largely on assimilation and integration in the new society and culture, this paper shows how immigrants construct their independent identities across national borders, and how advanced technology enables them to choose cultural content that evokes Asian values and sentiments. Hallyu thus informs their identity construction as East Asians in Europe.

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