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Research on Conglomerate Sociopath Characters in Korean Television Drama

Park, Sang-Wan 1

1충남대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This article aims to investigate the sociocultural meaning of conglomerate sociopath characters found in Korean TV dramas in the 2010s. Based on three conglomerate sociopath characters in <My Love from the Star>, <Remember –War of the Son>, and <Mrs. Cop 2>, portrayal of these characters was analyzed. Conglomerate sociopaths are characterized by lack of sympathy and guilt even when they commit a crime. Based on this characteristic, in the three dramas mentioned above, the conglomerate sociopath characters emphasize their individuality and commit extreme crimes, which eventually invade life of ordinary individuals. This sociopathic tendency is promoted by inappropriate parenting. As a result, they feel immensely frustrated when rejected by the parents, and, in a personal aspect, are punished by it for their wrongdoing. Meanwhile, the conglomerate sociopaths are also penalized officially as well, and this may result from ambivalence of the public toward conglomerates. The sociopath characters are used for offsetting the public’s admiration for the rich by punishing them and counterbalancing the guilt for such admiration. The conflicting relationship between conglomerates and ordinary people reflects the class division in the South Korean society in which empathy for others has disappeared. In the end, justice is realized in imagination by punishing conglomerates by using public power and making them into sociopaths to justify such punishment. In the process, we notice the self-destructive perception of the public, i.e., ideology that demands individual sacrifice.

Citation status

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