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Joonseong Lee, Ph.D.

Joonseong Lee, Ph.D.

Professor of Communication

Office: SBSB 2128

Joonseong Lee, Ph.D.

Joonseong Lee joined the Communication faculty at CSUSM in Fall 2008. His research interests are in new media and the technologies of governmental dominance, and empowerment in cybercultures from the cultural studies perspective.

Here is an excerpt from his teaching philosophy.

Since I began teaching in the U.S. as an adjunct instructor in 2003, I have contemplated the immanent view that the world consists of aspects that are innately harmonized. I grew up in a learning environment with the immanent world view. According to the immanent world view, the Great Absolute, the source of the dual principle of yin and yang in Eastern philosophy, embraces the abductive and adductive processes of yin and yang, which do not work separately, but rather collaborate harmoniously. From this view, teaching and learning are not separate but closely intertwined entities, where teachers should have the innate quality of acquiring both knowledge and wisdom, which students can utilize to prepare for their own futures while they are yet in school.

The philosophical framework of the immanent approach to teaching and learning and critical pedagogy is to focus on how "students" can empower themselves, practicing critical thinking, broadening application of it to the social and cultural contexts in which they live, and preparing for the future. For example, media and our lives are not separate entities, but interconnected organically. However, I observed that students do not recognize that connection well. Therefore, I began to focus on explaining the interconnection between society and the media to them, particularly trying to make students more aware of how media influences our political and economic lives within the power structure. I asked students to ponder how they could empower themselves within a media-saturated context, without becoming subjugated or controlled by that context. From the immanent perspective, media literacy and critical cultural studies can provide students with the wisdom to cultivate their own ability to deal critically with the media.


Ph.D. in Media Studies, 2006
School of Media Arts and Studies
Ohio University

Title of dissertation:
Digital Spirituality and Governmentality: Contextualizing Cyber Memorial Zones in Korea

M.A. in Radio and Television, 2002
College of Creative Arts
San Francisco State University

Thesis title:
The Aesthetic Construction of Spirituality in Teleritual: Analyzing the Content of the TV Drama Touched by an Angel

B.A. in Won Buddhism, 1988
Won Kwang University, Korea
Emphasis: Buddhism and social movements


Recent Publications:

 Lee, J. (2019). When Foucault met Deleuze in a Cybercafé: Won Buddhist Cybercafés and Mind-Assessing Diaries. In A. Grant, A. Sturgill, C. Chen, and D. Stout (Eds), Religion Online: How Digital Technology is Changing the Way We Worship and Pray (pp. 174-193). Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger.

Lee, J. & Brown, K. E. (2018). “Make Korea with America Great Again”: An Articulation and Assemblage of South Korean Extreme Right Practices. Communication, Culture and Critique, 11(1), 53–66. 

Lee, J. (2016). Commodifying magic: Cyber shamans and neoliberalised culture in Korea. Culture and Religion, 17(3), 295-311.

Lee, J. (2016). Cyber Memorial Zones and Shamanic Inheritance in Korea. In S. Hoover (Ed), The Media and Religious Authority (pp. 150-169). University Park, PA: Penn State University Press.

Lee, J. (2012). Everybody, Let’s Tighten the Anus: Exploring the Social and Cultural Meaning of a Korean Folksong. Journal of Media and Religion, 11(4), 216-230.

Lee, J. (2012). Rite of Death as a Popular Commodity: Neo Liberalism, Media, and New Korean Funeral Culture. In P. Cheong, J. Martin, and L. Macfadyen (Eds), New Media and Intercultural Communication: Identity, Community, and Politics (pp. 175-191). New York, NY: Peter Lang.

Lee, J. (2009). Cultivating the Self in Cyberspace: The Use of Personal Blogs among Buddhist Priests. Journal of Media and Religion, 8(2), 97-114.

Lee, J. (2008). Do you feel free now?: Korean women in an online adult community. Asian Journal of Women's Studies, 14 (2), 80-108.

Royse, P., Lee, J., Baasanjav, U., Hopson, M., & Consalvo, M. (2007). Women and Games: Technologies of the Gendered Self. New Media & Society, 9 (4), 555-576.


  • COMM 360 Media and Society

     Introduction to theories, research methods, and empirical research findings related to the production and effects of mass communication on individuals and society. Surveys various forms of media, provides an overview of the historical formation of various media channels, and analyzes the impact of mass communication upon popular culture. Enrollment Requirement: COMM 100(MC)
  • MDIA 301 Media Theory

    Introduction to the theories of mediated communication, including theories based on critical/cultural, normative, and social scientific approaches. Explores the historical development of the major Western philosophical perspectives regarding the media and their role and impact in society.
  • MDIA 304 Global Media

    An exploration of "globalization" as an historical - as well as a contested - process, and of cultural, social, technological economic political processes at work in "mass media globalization". Case studies link discussions of specific forms (i.e., music, radio, video, journalism, internet/web cell phones, broadcast satellites, and points of origin) to old and new audiences. These case studies are contextualized in a consideration of specific communication processes associated with trade, war, community development, policy making and reform, and privatization/deregulation.
  • MDIA 451 Media, Religion & Pop Culture

    A study of the theoretical foundations and the process of constructing religiosity and spirituality on electronic media. Explores construction of religiosity in religious media. Examines construction of spirituality in secular media. Investigates the commodification of religiosity and spirituality in popular culture.
  • MDIA 452 Media Ethics

    Examination of ethical standards and practices of the mass media. Focuses on the conduct as a future media practitioner and the impact students will have on others in particular and society in general. Includes development of ethical decision-making skills. 


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