South Korean Popular Culture and North Korea: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

South Korean Popular Culture and North Korea

1st Edition

Edited by Youna Kim


192 pages

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Hardback: 9781138477674
pub: 2019-01-29
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Over recent decades South Korea’s vibrant and distinctive populist culture has spread extensively throughout the world. This book explores how this "Korean wave" has also made an impact in North Korea. The book reveals that although South Korean media have to be consumed underground and unofficially in North Korea, they are widely watched and listened to. The book examines the ways in which this is leading to popular yearning in North Korea for migration, defecting to the South or for people to just become more like South Koreans. Overall, the book demonstrates that the soft power of the Korean wave is having an undermining impact on the hard, constraining cultural climate of North Korea.

Table of Contents

Introduction - Hallyu and North Korea: Soft Power of Popular Culture - Youna Kim

Part I Popular Culture as Soft Power

1 Soft Power and the Korean Wave - Joseph Nye and Youna Kim

2 The Korean Wave as a Powerful Agent: Hidden Stories from a North Korean Defector - Thae Yong-Ho

3 Popular Culture in Transitional Societies: An Eastern European Perspective - Nikolay Anguelov

Part II Circulation of Meaning

4 Black Markets, Red States: Media Piracy in China and the Korean Wave in North Korea - Weiqi Zhang and Micky Lee

5 The Korean Wave: A Pull Factor for North Korean Migration - Ahlam Lee

6 Hallyu in the South, Hunger in the North: Alternative Imaginings of What Life Could Be - Sandra Fahy

7 South Korean Media Reception and Youth Culture in North Korea - Sunny Yoon

Part III Contesting Voices

8 Other as Brother or Lover: North Koreans in South Korean Visual Media - Elaine H. Kim and Hannah Michell

9 Discursive Construction of Hallyu-in-North Korea in South Korean News Media - Kyong Yoon

10 Webtoon and Intimacy:Reception of North Korean Defectors’ Survival Narratives - Jahyon Park

11 Revealing Voices?North Korean Males and the South Korean Mediascape - Stephen J. Epstein and Christopher K. Green

About the Editor

Youna Kim is Professor of Global Communications at the American University of Paris, France, joined from the London School of Economics and Political Science where she had taught since 2004, after completing her PhD at the University of London, Goldsmiths College.

Her books are Women, Television and Everyday Life in Korea: Journeys of Hope (Routledge, 2005); Media Consumption and Everyday Life in Asia (Routledge, 2008); Transnational Migration, Media and Identity of Asian Women: Diasporic Daughters (Routledge, 2011); Women and the Media in Asia: The Precarious Self (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012); The Korean Wave: Korean Media Go Global (Routledge, 2013); Routledge Handbook of Korean Culture and Society (Routledge, 2016); Childcare Workers, Global Migration and Digital Media (Routledge, 2017).

About the Series

Media, Culture and Social Change in Asia

The aim of this series is to publish original, high-quality work by both new and established scholars in the West and the East, on all aspects of media, culture and social change in Asia. New proposals are welcome, and should be sent in the first instance to the series editor, Stephanie Donald, at

Editorial Board:

Gregory N. Evon, University of New South Wales
Devleena Ghosh, University of Technology, Sydney
Michael Keane, Curtin University
Tania Lewis, RMIT University, Melbourne
Vera Mackie, University of Wollongong
Kama Maclean, University of New South Wales

Laikwan Pang, Chinese University of Hong Kong
Gary Rawnsley, Aberystwyth University
Ming-yeh Rawnsley, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
Jo Tacchi, Loughborough University
Adrian Vickers, University of Sydney
Jing Wang, MIT
Ying Zhu, Hong Kong Baptist University



Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / Asian American Studies