K-pop, described by Time Magazine in 2012 as "South Korea’s greatest export", has rapidly achieved a large worldwide audience of devoted fans largely through distribution over the Internet. This book examines the phenomenon, and discusses the reasons for its success. It considers the national and transnational conditions that have played a role in K-pop’s ascendancy, and explores how they relate to post-colonial modernisation, post-Cold War politics in East Asia, connections with the Korean diaspora, and the state-initiated campaign to accumulate soft power. As it is particularly concerned with fandom and cultural agency, it analyses fan practices, discourses, and underlying psychologies within their local habitus as well as in expanding topographies of online networks. Overall, the book addresses the question of how far "Asian culture" can be global in a truly meaningful way, and how popular culture from a "marginal" nation has become a global phenomenon.
Introduction: Why K-pop Fandom Matters JungBong Choi and Roald Maliangkay 1. Same Look through Different Eyes: Korea’s History of Uniform Pop Music Acts Roald Maliangkay 2. Into the New World: Girls’ Generation from the Local to the Global Stephen J. Epstein 3. The Political Economy of Idols: South Korea’s Neoliberal Restructuring and its Impact on the Entertainment Labor Force Inkyu Kang 4. Despite not being Johnny’s: The Cultural Impact of TVXQ in the Japanese Music Industry Ju Oak Kim 5. SBS PopAsia: Non-stop K-Pop in Australia Liz Giuffre and Sarah Keith 6. Loyalty Transmission and Cultural Enlisting of K-pop in Latin America JungBong Choi 7. Hallyu and the K-pop Boom in Japan: Patterns of Consumption and Reactionary Responses Eun-Young Jung 8. The Dynamics of K-Pop Spectatorship: The Tablo Witch-hunt and Its Double-Edged Sword of Enjoyment Haerin Shin 9. ‘We keep it local’ – Malaysianising "Gangnam Style": A Question of Place and Identity Gaik Cheng Khoo 10. A Sound Wave of Effeminacy: K-pop and the Male Beauty Ideal in China Roald Maliangkay and Geng Song