Lifestyles, gratifications sought, and narrative appeal : American and Korean TV drama viewing among Internet users in urban China.
Date of Issue2012
Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information
In recent years, online viewing has become an important way for Chinese audiences to watch foreign TV dramas. This exploratory study investigated the predictive power of lifestyles, gratifications sought, narrative appeal, and demographics on the viewing preference for and frequency of American and Korean TV dramas among a sample of 455 Internet users in urban China. The results show that narrative appeal, viewing habits, and gender were predictors of viewing preference. Lifestyles were significantly linked to gratifications sought. Frequent American TV drama viewers tended to be motivated by learning about American language, culture, and fashion; attracted by the complicated plot; and preferred online viewing. The study supports and expands understanding of the uses and gratifications theory, and argues that viewing foreign TV dramas could be an index of social distinction in urban China. Practical implications for the media industry are discussed.
International communication gazette