1st Edition

South Korean Popular Culture in the Global Context Beyond the Fandom

Edited By Sojin Lim Copyright 2023
    132 Pages
    by Routledge

    132 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book explores the recent landscape of Korean popular culture, including celebrity diplomacy, political activism, and inter-Korean relations in the era of ‘ontact’, with a special focus on K-pop and K-drama.

    Utilising the interdisciplinary approach, along with theoretical accounts, it redefines popular culture and its true power – beyond soft power – including discussions of how the pandemic and the use of online platforms have coincidently or effectively influenced recent phenomena surrounding Korean popular culture. It reveals both the possibilities and pitfalls of Hallyu diplomacy and the UN’s celebrity diplomacy more broadly, and highlights how, through the mobilisation of a large internet fanbase, the modern K-pop ‘standom’ can influence political discourse. The book also features an examination of the political significance of the K-drama through which it highlights the potential of popular media to impact inter-Korean relations and inform current international understanding and perception of the Korean conflict.

    Dealing with the wider scope of Korean popular culture this book will be a valuable resource to students and scholars of South Korea, international relations, public diplomacy, political activism, and cultural and media studies.

    1. Introduction

    Sojin Lim

    2. BTS’ Soft Power and Public Diplomacy: Partnership with UNICEF

    Hee Kyoung Chang

    3. Stan Activism: Is K-Pop the New Punk?

    Niki J.P. Alsford

    4. Desiring Machines: Portrait of a K-Pop Fan

    David A. Tizzard

    5. Entertainment and Equity in the Era of "Ontact"

    Jenna Gibson and Tamar Herman

    6. The Use of Culture and Cultural Products in Inter-Korean Relations

    Marco Milani

    7. Screening the Inter-Korean Conflict: The Politics of Crash Landing on You

    Juliette Schwak and Sarah A. Son


    Sojin Lim is Associate Professor, Course Leader for both MA North Korean Studies and MA Asia Pacific Studies, and Co-Director of the International Institute of Korean Studies (IKSU) at the University of Central Lancashire.