An ajumma is the unique word and, at the same time, it represents the group of middle-aged women and their culture. As Beauvoir, Butler, and Haraway note (1989:12, 1999 and 1991) gender is constructed culturally, ajumma should be understood and discussed within Korean culture that this ‘ajumma’ group was involved and created in.
“One is not born, but rather becomes a woman”
With this idea, I would like to say that, “an ajumma is not born, but rather women in Korea becomes an ajumma”. Thus, knowing who an ajumma is, what an ajumma do and how an ajumma is represented in Korea will be triggered to understand women in Korea and more than that. They are represented in Korea with various a biased point of view, however they’re now representing themselves with the usage of social media and creating their own way of social media culture.
People regarded ajummas as just an ajumma without knowing well about them. When we look at them carefully and know more about them, we can find how each ajumma is a person of distinct individuality.
This folder is for ‘An illustrated of Korean Smart Ajumma’.
이 폴더는 앞으로 ‘스마트아줌마 도감’이 업로드될 예정입니다.
It’s been almost 1 year since I’ve submitted my PhD project. Now I’m waiting for the graduation ceremony in this Dec. YAY!!!
I planned to start doing a new project from this year but I haven’t started it yet because there’re so many things to be done by end of May. But I will try to start doing a new project asap. Also I should keep writing blog entries as well. FOR SURE!!
About this project: https://smart-ajumma.com/2016/03/03/digital-ppal-let-ter-project/
I went to Hongdae (Hongik University district in Seoul) and everyplace swarmed with people. There are a variety of shops, cafes, restaurants and small galleries in Hongdae area so I sometimes visit there to see what’s going on. (because cafes and shops are changing frequently) And on the street, I found so many street stalls are selling ‘mobile phone cases’ with various designs and characters. People in Korea keep changing their mobile phones cases because they think the cases are one of fashion accessories. So if you’re in Korea, especially in Seoul you can see many street stalls that sell mobile phone cases.
I read several journal articles before that are about the relationship between mobile phone accessories and personality. And I also agree that those mobile phone accessories are certainly showing every personality. So it might be interesting to investigate how different mobile phone cases characterise each person. (and what differences between different countries, culture, gender and etc.) And there will be ‘Ajummas’ favourite mobile phone cases, too!!!
Mangchi Ajumma, Emily Kim is a famous YouTuber who cook Korean food. She immigrated to the U.S. in 1992 with her family. She was almost addicted to computer gaming and spent her time at home after coming back from work. One day, her family recommended her spend time productively such as producing a cooking video rather than just playing computer game all day. So she started produce Korean food cooking video on YouTube and the number of subscribers of her channel are increasing dramatically.
In her video, she speaks English with her characteristic Korean accent. (no offence, I think her unique accent highlight her unique character of Korean American ajumma in her videos) Also her hair, fashion and makeup style tells how unique Mangchi Ajumma is! In the videos, she introduced so many dishes of Korean food and she explained ‘how to cook’ Korean food in easier ways than any other cook books, both for Koreans and foreigners.According to New York Times, it describes her as ‘Korean Julia Child!’
She also published a cookbook that is titled ‘Maangchi’s Real Korean Cooking‘. And there is her own website, ‘www.maangchi.com‘. (You can watch all the Maangchi ajumma’s Korean cooking videos, information about Korean ingredients, (ingredients glossary) and any other useful information related to Korean culture, especially Korean food culture)).
I really want to interview this lovely maangchi ajumma someday soon.
This is very exciting example of smart ajumma, I can tell.
I just came back home. MINA (Mobile Innovation Network Australasia) 2016 was an amazing experience to meet other researchers and their fabulous works. I also presented my PhD project in MINA 2016 and I feel glad people who were there know who ajummas are and why ajummas need to be considered as smart ajummas today. 15 mins weren’t enough to talk everythinf about my project in detail, but thank MINA, I could’ve shared my beloved research project with other researchers.
New blog entries about ajummas will be coming soon.
I found this photo from one of my twitter friends today. These two ajummas put their mobile phone on the triport and watching TV through DMB (Digital Multimedia Broadcasting) while they’re travelling in the subway in Seoul. They share the earphones as well.
I already wrote about how the subway is important for Seoulite’s daily life in my Master’s thesis that is called ‘Mobile Bang (2010)’. The subway shouldn’t be considered as just a sort of public transport. Rather it means a lot more for people in Seoul or South Korea. I call it as a Mobile Bang (room in English) and commuters do various things in the subway especially through uaing their smartphones while they’re travelling.
We’re now having very hot and humid days in South Korea (35c/70-80 % humidity). People want to find any place where they can avoid hot and humid weather. The subway could be one of those places I think. So I really love this photo and want to share these Smart Ajummas in Mobile Bang with you.
Thank you for my friend (from twitter) who allowed me to use this photo for this blog.
I can hear so many ajummas call other middle-aged women as ‘Ajumma’. For example, middle-aged women customers (ajummas) call other middle-aged women sellers, “Ajumma! How much is this?”. But when seller ajummas call customer ajummas, “Ajumma! Try some our Kimchi!”, customer ajummas feel uncomfortable. (I experienced so many times these situations when I went to market to buy something) In fact, the seller ajummas never call customer ajummas as ‘Ajumma’. Never!
This is irony because ajummas call other ajummas as an ajumma but those ajummas don’t want to be called as an ajumma by others include ajummas.
Why? What’s wrong with that?
I’m not sure whether I can write about the topic of ‘plastic surgery’ in this blog or not. But I think plastic surgery could be categorised as a part of ‘beauty’ or ‘beauty industry’ in Korea (and many other countries) so I can concern about this issue in this blog. Well, plastic surgery is a very common thing for most Koreans (not every Koreans I have to say) in these days. There are various types of plastic surgery that help people to be satisfied with their appearances and sometimes inner sides,too. As they change or (I can say) upgrade their appliances through plastic surgery, people are able to have more confidences than before (especially, people who are not happy with their appearances). Of course there is side effect of plastic surgery but one thing we surely know that plastic surgery is a sort of popular culture in Korea now.
Before I wrote this blog entry today, I did research how ajummas concern about plastic surgery in Korea. Well, I still need to do a lot more and deeper research about the relationship between ajummas and plastic surgery, but one thing I found that many of ajummas are interested in doing plastic surgery and many of them also already experienced of having plastic surgery as well. And (I need to do more research about this but at this stage but) I found that the purposes of doing plastic surgery and preferred body part (or face part) are quite different according to different age group. For example, married middle aged women (it didn’t specify the actual age range in its report) wanted to do liposuction surgery (especially for reducing abdominal fat) the most according to the report. (http://bntnews.hankyung.com/apps/news?popup=0&nid=05&c1=05&c2=05&c3=00&nkey=201103291205063&mode=sub_view)
In addition, there are apps for plastic surgery as well. I just found some of them and need to research more about this ‘beauty app’ asap. Here is an example of plastic surgery app that is called, ‘App Miin’. App is for application and Miin means a beauty in Korean. So it means application beauty. Users are able to try virtual plastic surgery through using this app and they can make estimate for the plastic surgery in the future as well.
(click the image above, it goes to the website of App Miin, https://itunes.apple.com/kr/app/aebmiin)
I take a profound interest in the things that are related to beauty industry, women and digital media. Thus I keep thinking about the research that I will do for the next. (another research idea is in my mind, too)
Music credit: Peppertones, ‘For all dancers’ (less than 5 seconds, looping)
I just played with the keynote to create a live photo video for this blog. All the videos are made with (include Digital Ppal-let-ter project) photos and keynote. This looping live photo video reminds me a rhizome movie (by Adrian Miles) that we’ve learnt at RMIT almost 10 years ago. I’m thinking to create short video clips (like this) through using keynote, live photo and maybe photo collage.