Looking at K-Pop as an I-fan: a Reflection of Mesmerizing yet Imperfect Identities
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In the past decade, Korea has become the new powerhouse of popular culture within Asia, and Korean Popular Culture, short for K-Pop, is gaining popularity worldwide. Thanks to the Internet and digital media, people across the globe are able to participate in this growing phenomenon. Based on interviews of international fans (I-fans) and ethnographic fieldwork in South Korea, this thesis explores why international K-pop fans want to consume K-pop and the difficulties they face as consumers who do not belong to the culture on the first place. By examining music videos, reality shows, commercials and celebrity endorsements, I illustrate that K-pop is commodifying Korean culture into something that captures fans worldwide. In addition, I draw upon Korean history and theories of fetishization, mirror phase and male gaze to connect K-Pop with Korea’s fixation over perfection and chastity. Finally, I argue that K-Pop’s appeal lies upon its ability to reflect the vulnerabilities and struggles the younger generations face in society today.
CitationChan, Yvonne Yi Yan (2014). Looking at K-Pop as an I-fan: a Reflection of Mesmerizing yet Imperfect Identities. Honors thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/8615.
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Rights for Collection: Undergraduate Honors Theses and Student papers