Erotic Capital: Flower Boys in South Korea

Kasper Otto Dam Hansen, Sofia Repková & Kubra Okutan

Studenteropgave: Basisprojekt


This project makes a case study on the kkotminam, or flower boy, phenomenon in South Korea, which is being regarded as ‘less masculine’. The historical development of the term flower boy is covered from its beginning as hwarang warriors to the modern understanding of it; a ‘soft masculinity’ that draws on feminine features. The sociological notion of ‘capital’ is applied to investigate the ways in which flower boys are enhancing their appearance and social performance, specifically in relation to the theory of ‘erotic capital’. From this, a connection is drawn to the term ‘ulzzang’, as a form of erotic capital in South Korean culture. Moreover, a film analysis on the South Korean TV-show ‘Boys Over Flowers’ (2009), which initiated the rise of the kkotminam trend, is made to examine how flower boys are represented in the entertainment industry. This analysis shows that within erotic capital, the elements of ‘beauty’ and ‘social presentation’ are most prominent in the flower boy image, and that the elements of ‘sexual attractiveness’, ‘charm’, and ‘liveliness’ also play a role in how it is used.
It is concluded that South Korea is a culture in which spending resources on enhancement of erotic capital - specifically the element of ‘beauty’ - is common, and in many cases expected, where ‘Boys Over Flowers’ shows this in its presentation of the characters.

UddannelserBasis - International Humanistisk Bacheloruddannelse, (Bachelor uddannelse) Basis
Udgivelsesdato18 dec. 2018
Antal sider41
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