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A Study on Social Justice and Common Good in Television Dramas—With a Focus on Works by Park Hye-ryeon

Park, Sang-Wan 1

1충남대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

In recent years, television dramas have adopted an emerging approach of imagining a just society via fantasy. This study set out to examine by stages the patterns of social justice in I Hear Your Voice, Pinocchio, and While You Were Sleeping written by Park Hye-ryeon, who has been leading this trend. I Hear Your Voice shows why social justice is needed, as it is set against the backdrop of a society in which legal justice has collapsed. In this drama, the collapse of the legal justice system indicates that democratic society is falling apart at the roots. As a result, pain and suffering is propagated among the petit bourgeois, with social justice being demanded as an alternative to this problematic reality. The supernatural power of reading the thoughts of others is used to remind viewers of the value of truth and trust and raises the possibility of the existence of a true heart as an alternative from a social justice perspective. Set in a society in which media justice is distorted, Pinocchio makes an attempt at changing ideas about social justice. In this drama, the corrupt media justice covers up truth and becomes a parasite to power, creating victims that are falsely accused. In this situation, the Pinocchio Syndrome, which makes people hiccup when telling a lie, shows paradoxically that truth can be distorted, and ultimately destroys absoluteness that is not truth. Finally, While You Were Sleeping inherits the world views of the two previous dramas and proposes a type of social justice called ‘common good’ as an alternative. A completely unfair society is created when legal justice collapses and media justice is distorted. In this situation, the ability to see the future is an ability to imagine a world of possibilities. Altruistic choices based on trust in others help us to realize a positive future. Social justice as common good to enable solidarity among subjects in a way that transcends the limitations of time and space is proposed as an alternative to overcome the problem of an unfair society. Given the recent reality of South Korean society, this common good and these ways of life might literally seem like a fantasy. When social justice is represented by efforts and reconstruction processes to overcome the current social issues and make a better future, common good based on the understanding and sympathy of others can be an alternative to improve a reality that is problematic at its root. Ultimately, Park’s three works explore the feasibility of a just society that is yet to come from the aspect of the common good.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.