The Impact of Korean Wave on Malaysian Metrosexual Grooming Attitude and Behaviour: The Moderating Role of Visual Media Consumption

© Media Watch 11 (2) 263-280, 2020
ISSN 0976-0911 | E-ISSN 2249-8818
DOI: 10.15655/mw/2020/v11i2/195647


The Impact of Korean Wave on Malaysian
Metrosexual Grooming Attitude and Behaviour:
The Moderating Role of Visual Media Consumption


Loke Mun Sin1 & Bahiyah Omar2
1Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia
2Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia 


The study investigated the effects of Korean cultural products – namely drama, popular music, and celebrity – on Malaysian metrosexuals’ attitudes to Korean grooming products and also their consumption behaviour. In this study, we developed a conceptual model depicting the relationships of critical variables deduced from the Cultural Diamond Model and the Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA). Acknowledging the influential role of media exposure in these relationships, we treated visual media consumption as a moderating variable. The effects were expected to vary according to the level of exposure to the Korean Wave from multiple visual media platforms. We conducted a multi-group structural equation modelled on data from an online survey of 205 Malaysian metrosexuals with low (N=57) and high (N=148) consumption rates of Korean Wave material. The results show that Korean cultural products, except popular music, significantly predict metrosexual grooming attitudes and behaviour. The study also found that high visual media consumption of Korean celebrity news contributes to favourable attitudes to and use of Korean grooming products. The research suggests that globally, metrosexuals might serve as the pioneers of an expanded market for the Korean grooming culture.


Keywords: Cultural product, grooming behaviour, Korean wave, metrosexual, visual media, Malaysia




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Loke Mun Sin is attached to the Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia. His research interests include cross-cultural communication, media studies, and consumer behaviour.

Bahiyah Omar is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Communication, Universiti Sains Malaysia. Her research interests include communication studies, new media, and media effects.