How to Make It in America: K-Pop's Bid for the West VICE (blog) G-Dragon falls into a folding chair, looking calm and nearly bored.
Kpop Kollective's insight:
Overall, this is a very thorough account of G-Dragon's presence at KCON, althought he was not the only K-pop artist there. However, Tyler reinforces the idea that K-pop is for teenagers. Many K-pop artists are veterans even at young ages and many K-pop fans are not teenagers. One runs into problems when trying to explain K-pop's appeal to older fans if one insists that it's a genre solely for young fans.
Asian Fortune Are Korean Male Idols the Cure to Asian American Emasculation?
Kpop Kollective's insight:
This article continues a scholarly trend of limiting discussions of masculinity in K-pop to the bishonen ideal. Doing so ignores the range of masculinites represented by K-pop artists and groups. If one looks at a series of concepts for any established male K-pop grouup, one will find that concepts change, and groups use images associated with a variety of masculinities. Aozora's results may also be impacted by her small sample size. Opinions of K-pop fans are greatly influenced by other factors, including how long they have been fans and their prior experiences with other fandoms and other modes of Asian popular culture.
Mark Russell's article draws attention to the global impact of people behind the scenes of K-pop, like songwriters. At the same time, the story overlooks the role of Korean producers and songwriters on K-pop, especially those who bring their experience with American R&B and soul.
This looks interesting, if it allows you to direct YouTube viewers to websites. But I wonder, given that YouTube viewers tend to view, if the annotation feature will generate substantially more traffic to websites.
Another take on global Hallyu, this time from the Philippines, which has a large Hallyu following. Significantly, Hallyu needs to be studied within the cultural context of the respective countries. This article shows that Philippine popular culture provides a unique cultural context for Hallyu culturla production, like Kdramas. Rina Jimenez-David notes that emotion plays a large part in the appeal of Kdramas. This article also explores the possibility of using the South Korean model of supporting culture.
This story from The Korea Herald shows the international intellectual interest in Hallyu. In addition to scholars from Korea presenting on Hallyu, the story references an academic from Mexico who explores the role of fan clubs in Mexico.
Hallyu studies is truly global, not just confined to the East Asian region. It also involves a variety of aspects because it is a cultural movement that includes not just music but also other culturla production.
This article by Tom Coyner repeats many of the unfounded perceptions about international audiences of K-pop. While there is a discussion to be had about sexuality in K-pop, Coyner reduces that potential discussions with generalizations about fan motives regarding K-pop and a lack of familiarity with the K-pop fan scene.
While his observations about the role of sexiness in K-pop is dubious, what is outright incorrect is his assessment of American K-pop fans. Leaning on his son's "street perspective," he suggests that "the Korean Wave is indeed big, but only in pockets where Koreans and other Asians concentrate. There are non-Asian ethnic American fans as well, but he noted that most non-Asian American Korean Wave fans are very good friends of Koreans and a surprising number have had or currently have ethnic Korean lovers."
This is just wrong. Not only are Asians not the only ones listening to K-pop, the major influences on K-pop come from a variety of musical genres in which there are few Asian participants: hip-hop and soul. One can participate in a culture without being friends with Koreans or being in an intimate relationship with one.
Jun Ji-hye reveals the diplomatic benefits of Hallyu.
This article shows how international interest in Hallyu invovles an interest in Korean culture as well, prompting some to go so far as to visit the country. K-pop and Kdrama encourage an interest in Korean language, culture and history. Also, this established interest may also curb what Moore describes as a tendency for "Ugly American" behavior.
Events such as this show another dimension to the impact of Hallyu in the United States. Dance is central to K-pop, and festivals like this one, which showcase cover dance groups, also show the role that fans play in the spread of Hallyu. It also demonstrates how Hallyu crosses genders and ethnicities.
“Coup D’Etat,” the new album from the K-Pop star G-Dragon, has America heavily on its mind and in its credits.
Kpop Kollective's insight:
This overview of G-Dragon focuses on the surface: what he looks like, the kinds of images in which he appears. Is Caramanica suggesting that surface is all G-Dragon has to offer? Fans of G-Dragon find him creative and give him credit for those images, concepts and forays into song-writing, but G-Dragon's participation in his own creation is largely absent from this article.
This article explores the crossroads of Kdrama and Feminism. What I find interesting is that it does not define feminism, acknowledge the different brands of feminism and recognize the imposition of the Western concept of feminism on Korean cultural production.
Helen Lee gives a slightly new interpretation of Gangnam Style by comparing it to a minstrel show. Lee identifies herself as Korean American, and writes, "I imagine my ambivalence about the video’s popularity might be akin to what I’ve heard some of my African American friends say about certain black rappers or shows on BET — that they are unintentionally propagating old stereotypes in the manner of a modern-day minstrel show."
This is significant because it shows that different people are reading the Gannam Style phenomenon differently, bringing a different set of cultural lenses to it. There are a vareity of responses to the video, and in order to understand the video, especially in an American context, we have to weigh them.
This article shows how interest in Hallyu is manifesting itself in higher education, offering advanced degrees in its study.
This program is different from other Hallyu offerings in higher education in that in addition to a focus on business, it seems to offer courses on K-pop and Kdrama, the cultural production at the heart of Hallyu.
Jung Bong Choi and Roald Maliangkay solicit abstracts for an edited collection on K-pop. What makes this call different from some of the collections already available on Hallyu is the focus on fandom.
Fandom is central to K-pop, yet few studies have been conducted on fan activity and behavior in connection with the actual music culture of K-pop. The collection also asks for submissions related to the history of idol bands and group identity, two aspects that are connected to the K-pop fan experience.
Also, the collection describes Hallyu in its international context outside of East Asia, a welcome addition to work on Hallyu as a transnational movement.
This article perpetuates some of the erroneous assumptions about K-pop and its spread internationally in general, and in the United States in particular.
K-pop has demonstrated its appeal internationally based on the very method that only Psy allegedly used. SM Town in Paris, Los Angeles and New York succeeded without any broadcast promotion. Fans were drawn solely through social media and internet websites. Also, it is a generalization to suggest that the idol model is overused, given the handful of K-pop groups that have attempted to break into the mainstream American market. We must remember that most of the recent attention Psy has received has been in relation to the mainstream American music market, which is not the only barometer of appeal and influence in the United States.
Like many articles about Psy, this one attempts to suggest that somehow Psy is different from the rest of K-pop. An unfamiliarity with the K-pop scene often leads writers such as this one to fail to examine Psy's place in K-pop prior to his recent success. For international fans, Psy is not new.