The Korean Wave: Korean Media Go Global, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Korean Wave

Korean Media Go Global, 1st Edition

Edited by Youna Kim


234 pages

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Since the late 1990s South Korea has emerged as a new center for the production of transnational popular culture - the first instance of a major global circulation of Korean popular culture in history. Why popular (or not)? Why now? What does it mean socially, culturally and politically in a global context?

This edited collection considers the Korean Wave in a global digital age and addresses the social, cultural and political implications in their complexity and paradox within the contexts of global inequalities and uneven power structures. The emerging consequences at multiple levels - both macro structures and micro processes that influence media production, distribution, representation and consumption - deserve to be analyzed and explored fully in an increasingly global media environment.

This book argues for the Korean Wave's double capacity in the creation of new and complex spaces of identity that are both enabling and disabling cultural diversity in a digital cosmopolitan world.

The Korean Wave combines theoretical perspectives with grounded case studies in an up-to-date and accessible volume ideal for both undergraduate and postgraduate students of Media and Communications, Cultural Studies, Korean Studies and Asian Studies.


"A superb collection of essays illuminating one of the most remarkable phenomena of contemporary global culture. Essential reading for anyone interested in Korean and global culture today."

Charles K. Armstrong, Professor of History, Columbia University

"This highly coherent collection provides a comprehensive guide to the potentialities and limitations of what Youna Kim calls cultural cosmopolitanism."

Adrian Favell, Professor of Sociology, Sciences Po Paris

"Required reading for anyone who wishes to understand the larger social, political, and cultural implications of the Korean Wave."

Gi-Wook Shin, Professor of Sociology, Stanford University

"A welcome and valuable book that has something to offer to a wide variety of readers. Immensely valuable to the study of transnational popular cultures."

Elaine H. Kim, Professor of Asian American Studies, UC Berkeley

"As the video Gangnam Style has reached a global click rate of over 1 billion, there is perhaps no better academic response than the publication of The Korean Wave: Korean Media Go Global."

Joseph M. Chan, Professor of Communication, Chinese University of Hong Kong

Table of Contents

Introduction: Korean Media in a Digital Cosmopolitan World Youna Kim Part I: Power and Politics of the Global 1. Soft Power and the Korean Wave Joseph Nye and Youna Kim 2. The Korean Wave as Method: Inter-Asian Referencing Koichi Iwabuchi 3. Reconfiguring Media and Empire Oliver Boyd-Barrett Part II: Popular Media and Digital Mobile Culture 4. Korean Wave Pop Culture in the Global Internet Age: Why Popular? Why Now? Youna Kim 5. For the Eyes of North Koreans? Politics of Money and Class in Boys Over Flowers Suk-Young Kim 6. K-pop Female Idols in the West: Racial Imaginations and Erotic Fantasies Eun-Young Jung 7. Negotiating Identity and Power in Transnational Cultural Consumption: Korean American Youths and the Korean Wave Jung-Sun Park 8. Digitization and Online Cultures of the Korean Wave: "East Asian" Virtual Community in Europe Sang-Yeon Sung 9. Hybridization of Korean Popular Culture: Films and Online Gaming Dal Yong Jin 10. K-pop Dance Trackers and Cover Dancers: Global Cosmopolitanization and Local Spatialization Liew Kai Khiun Part III: Perspectives Inside/Outside 11. Cultural Policy and the Korean Wave: From National Culture to Transnational Consumerism Hye-Kyung Lee 12. Re-Worlding Culture?: YouTube as a K-pop Interlocutor Kent A. Ono and Jungmin Kwon 13. The Korean Wave as a Cultural Epistemic Anandam Kavoori 14. The Korean Wave and "Global Culture" Yudhishthir Raj Isar

About the Editor

Youna Kim is Professor of Global Communications at the American University of Paris, 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 (2005, Routledge); Media Consumption and Everyday Life in Asia (2008, Routledge); Transnational Migration, Media and Identity of Asian Women: Diasporic Daughters (2011, Routledge); Women and the Media in Asia: The Precarious Self (2012, Palgrave Macmillan); Global Nannies: Minorities and the Digital Media (in preparation).

About the Series

Internationalizing Media Studies

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Media Studies