Korean pop culture and globalization

Introduction: Korea Pop Culture and Globalization

Recently, “Gangnam Style” , the vocal which is composed and sung by a Korean vocalist, has created a new Korean wave all over the universe. Though the wordss are written in Korean, it is unexpected that the official music picture ofGangnam Stylehas already viewed about 20 billion times on YouTube from 2012 to show ( YouTube, 2014 ) and go a planetary hit vocal. Besides,My Love from the Star,the Korean TV play distributed by Seoul Broadcasting System ( SBS ) , besides slingshot to fame and go a gossip subject for many homemakers and immature people in the East Asia, like in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Vietnam. This new Korean moving ridge, or person would name it Hallyu ( 韓流 ) phenomena, attracts people from different states to pay attending to the pop civilization in Korea.

In the late 1990s, South Korean cultural merchandises have started to catch public, particularly Asian’s attending under the impact of Globalization. Different Korean Television play, such asWinter SonataandDae Jang Geum, made a hit in the Korean domestic market. Following this success, these Television plans were picked up by foreign Television channels and gained popularity bit by bit through word-of-mouth and the media. In fact, the term of Korean moving ridge was named by Chinese mass media in 2001 in reacting to the turning credence of Korean dad civilization in China.

To some extent, Korean dad civilization is perceived as an option of Nipponese pop civilization. It should be noted that there was Harizu ( Ã¥“ˆæ-¥æ- ) in Hong Kong and Taiwan in the late eightiess and early 1990s. The term of Harizu labels people who are indulged in Japan and its civilization. However, it seems that the Nipponese pop civilization did non viral every bit wider as the Korean 1. In contrary with Nipponese pop civilization, the one from Korea is supported and promoted by the Chinese media, and accepted by some Western states. There are two chief grounds why the Korean dad civilization successfully captures people’s eyes around the universe. First, Nipponese media companies did non sell their cultural merchandises actively in the international market ( Iwabuchi, 2004 ) , and hence its development limited to Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore merely. Second, Nipponese cultural merchandises were non welcomed or even banned by Chinese media due to historical struggles. On the other manus, China is more unfastened to Korean pop civilization while the people portion the similar experience of being colonized by Nipponese people in the early 20Thursdaycentury.

In the paper, although is non aimed at explicating the differences between J-pop and K-pop, is purposed for analysing the Hallyu discourse under the cultural globalisation. We would discourse the alterations of dad civilization and the singularity of Korean dad cultural merchandises, in order to analysis how the Korean moving ridge could take topographic point in this planetary small town in recent decennaries.

Popular Culture under Globalization: From America to Korea

Indeed, there are different definitions of pop civilization, but no 1 could deny that the Western popular civilization has emerged to planetary mainstream in late 20Thursdayand early 21stcentury. After the Second World War, the mass media invention led to large-scale political and cultural alterations. And pop civilization began to take topographic point in America. Besides, during the Cold War period, different little states were put in two cantonments – Communists and Capitalists – by two world powers, viz. the U.S.A and the Soviet Union. The Cold War, in a certain extent, promoted the cultural globalisation by promoting in-migration inside the cantonments and making corporate cultural individualities. Besides, Soviet Union and America propagate their political orientations to their cantonments, and acted as a “theoretical” arm to contend against their oppositions. Thankss to the prostration of Soviet Union, the Western civilization spread out and go an influential power. Popular civilization, as the same clip, is regarded as an of import component in Western modernisation, which provides a different gustatory sensation of amusement and alterations people’s life style. Due to the America-led globalisation, its pop cultural merchandises are being exported to other Western and Asiatic states.

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The South Korean media and authorities, on the other manus, follow a somewhat different way of advancing its pop civilization. Unlike Americanization, Lee ( 2013 ) sees Hallyu phenomena as a sort of non-hegemonic local cultural globalisation. The Western dad civilization, particularly pop music, is regarded as a homogenising cultural power which encouraged people to fling their domestic signifiers of civilization and follow the trendy signifiers. On contrary, Korean dad civilization is non aimed at extinguishing the cultural features of other states or even replacing American or Nipponese pop civilization. Alternatively, it added deepness and diverseness to both Korean and international market. For certain, it is difficult for non-hegemonic civilization to derive recognized and grab attending from international audience. For illustration, Nipponese dad civilization had swept over Hong Kong and Taiwan, its impact is limited. K-pop civilization, nevertheless, is mostly supported by both domestic and international media market.

Before discoursing why Korean dad civilization could stands out, we should first look into how globalisation and other elements help making and organizing K-pop civilization. First, American military personnels were sent to South Korea after the terminal of Japan’s colonisation. It did non merely convey the Western civilization, but besides took the American engineering of amusement production to South Korea. Thankss to the engineerings transfer, Korean cultural merchandises have turned to be widely accepted by the Korean young person. Second, the political democratisation in 1980s has laid down the footing of media democratisation in the ulterior times. Under the opinion of military autocratic government, the Korean mass media was chiefly controlled by the authorities. During the democratic passage, Korean people demanded for a more broad public communicating and media environment ( Shim, 2008 ) , and eventually induced to media democratisation in the late eightiess. It was widely believed that the Korean imperativeness would no longer be suppressed by bumbling manners of censoring under the democratic authorities. The former Korean president Roh Tae-woo proved this statement. In 1989, the thought of establishing overseas telegram telecasting was suggested by the authorities Commission for Broadcasting System Research. In 1990, the commercial SBS was licensed by the authorities and being operated in 1991. SBS is the first commercial telecasting station and seen as an option of an oligopoly of other two public broadcasters, Korea Broadcasting System ( KBS ) and Munhwa Broadcasting Company ( MBC ) . The media democratisation helps making a more free competition and promoting diverseness in media industries. As a consequence, the quality of Korean pop cultural merchandises enhanced, as manufacturers and broadcasters get involved into the “drama war” by seting attempt on widening into antecedently untasted subjects, composing a better narrative and doing shooting in foreign states. Last, Korea was forced to open its market, including the sectors of film and telecasting, in the name of globalisation ( Shim, 2008 ) . Under the force per unit area from the U.S, foreign movie companies have been allowed to administer their movies without go throughing through local distributers in Korea since 1988. Consequently, the imports of foreign movie increased from 25 to 175 between 1984 and 1988. Furthermore, as General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade ( GATT ) was transformed into the World Trade Organization ( WTO ) , member states of GATT, including Korea, are responsible for opening their media and cultural industries shortly. Because of the big figure of foreign cultural merchandises import, Korean civilization was in danger. In order to salvage the singularity of Korean civilization, the authorities decided to supply revenue enhancement inducements for movie devising and subsidise single movie productions. In this friendly environment, the domestic market portion of Korean movie had bit by bit increased from 15.9 % in 1993 to 35.5 % in 2000, and has recorded over 50 % since 21stcentury ( Korean Film Council, 2013 ) . In short, as challenged by the cultural globalisation and shaped by the Western civilization, Korean civilization was forced to better its quality and added some Western elements, in order to suit the gustatory sensation of modern people. However, the betterment of Korean dad civilization is out of the blue turned into the creative activity of Korean wave eventually.

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The Korean moving ridge: From East Asia to the West

Sing the phenomena of Korean moving ridge, Chua Beng Huat and Iwabuchi ( 2008 ) stated that the Korean popular cultural merchandises stood out because of the “felicitous timing” . As celebrated antecedently, Korean dad civilization consolidate its domestic power in early 1990s, and it contributed to the stepping up of Korean wave in the ulterior times. In 1997, the Asiatic fiscal crisis applied two impacts on the tendency of popular civilization. First and first, Korean Television and media industries are forced to look for foreign market to turn to its fiscal jobs caused by the fiscal crisis. Second, telecasting industries, which in the states and parts affected by the economic downswing, were besides looking for cheaper foreign plans in order to cut the cost. During 1990s, Korean TV dramas merely be a one-fourth of monetary value of the one of Japan, and a ten percent of monetary value of Hong Kong’s production ( Shim, 2008 ) . Thankss to the low cost and high quality of cost, Korean Television plans were purchased by media industries in East Asia and successfully turned foreigner’s eyes from Western and Nipponese dad cultural merchandises to the Korean 1.

The “felicitous timing” , at the same clip, points out that Korea grabbed a good opportunity in acquiring into the ‘geo-cultural’ market in East Asia ( Lee, 2013 ) . During the late eightiess and early 1990s, although Hong Kong and Japan exported its cultural merchandises to other East Asiatic states, its power is limited, as some developing East Asiatic states, such as Vietnam and the Philippines, did non hold much clip and resources to pay attending to either domestic or foreign cultural merchandises, but concentrate on its economic development. These states besides did non open its media market at that clip. However, in the late 1990s, the East Asiatic geo-cultural market was developed in the late 1990s and demanded for planetary cultural merchandises with different features. It was a great clip for Korean popular civilization to distribute out, while people are bored by Nipponese and Hong Kong Television plans, other Asiatic states did non hold the fiscal and cultural capital to supply quality and competitory cultural merchandises for the international media market. Due to the failing of rivals, it paves the manner for Korean dad civilization to win the competition.

The Korean moving ridge, so, emerged all of a sudden like a roar which was non expected by either Korean people or aliens. It was suggested that the Korean moving ridge is followed by the Korean Television play in the late ninetiess and early 2000s. In 1997, the Television playA Star in My Heartwas distributed in China and greatly favours most of the Chinese urban people. Following withthe Winter Sonatain Japan and another roar withDai Jang Geumin Hong Kong, the moving ridge seems to be extended to the Asiatic urban countries. The Korean moving ridge, harmonizing to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in Korea, contributed to the addition in visitants and Korean merchandises export ( Hwang, 2011 ) . Three sectors, including touristry, movie and telecasting plans, are mostly benefited from the impact of Hallyu and generated considerable economic net incomes ( Lee, 2008 ) . For illustration, exports of Korean Television plans abroad brought about $ 71.5 million in 2003, while Television play accounted for about $ 60 million, which is 91.8 % portion of the entire export value ( Lee, 2005 ) .

On the footing of the Hallyu consequence, which shows the bright hereafter of Korea popular civilization, the Korean authorities adopted different policies to advance its ‘soft power’ to the universe. While the Korean moving ridge was led chiefly by K-pop music and Television plans, the Gyeonggi provincial authorities suggested to construct an amusement composite, which would be called HallyuWood, by 2008 ( Korea Foundation for International Culture Exchange, 2008 ) , in the name of advancing Korean movie merchandises to the universe. The authorities besides helps modulating the quality of pop civilization by implementing specialised plans in civilization engineerings in universities and nurture Korean endowments in the industries. Besides, the Culture Ministry decided to diverse the beginnings to publicise both traditional Korean civilization and popular civilization. For case, the authorities put a big sum of disbursement – over 87 billion won since 2009 – on advancing its traditional culinary art, as a manner to follow American’s ‘McDonaldization’ . In fact, mass media in Europe and the United States on a regular basis reported the narratives of Korean dishes, in order to increase consciousness among the Western people. While the authorities extends both fiscal and material support to abroad Korean eating house, more foreign people are willing to seek Korean dishes these yearss ( Lee, 2012 ) . Besides, the authorities helps constructing a assortment of tourer attractive forces. For illustration, Chungmuro has turned to be a Korean Wave subject street since 2011. Myungbo Art Hall besides has converted into a “Korean Wave experience center” . The ‘Korean Wave’ undertaking, which costs 21.4 billion won, would exhibit name home bases and manus prints of celebrated Korean histrions and actresses ( Oh, 2011 ) .

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Thankss to the governmental support and the development of Digital engineerings and Information engineerings, the Korean moving ridge now take rooted in East Asia and started to overspread to the West. To some extent, it is easy for people to portion information on the Internet in this twenty-four hours and age. As a consequence, Korean pop cultural merchandises could be easy gone viral to other states and Korean soap operas maintain pulling people’s attending over the universe. Wang Qi-shan, the caput of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection mentioned “ ( The Korean Television playMy Love from the Star )is now taking China by storm” ( Sohn, 2014 ) . Although the Television play did non pull much the Western people, because of a different civilization and gustatory sensation, K-pop vocal and Television assortment show did. As mentioned before,Gangnam Style, the vocal Sung by PSY, creates a new unit of ammunition of Hallyu to the West. On September 14, 2012, the vocal came in as No. 64 on the Billboard Hot 100 – the chief individual chart in America. Two hebdomads subsequently, it was surprisingly ranked No.2 on the same chart and the place had maintained for seven back-to-back hebdomads. Most significantly, the vocal besides ranked as No.1 in European states like the U.K, Germany, Brazil and Australia. Though different K-pop graven image groups, including BigBang, Girls’ Generation and Wonder Girls, promoted their albums to the West, the successful narrative of PSY is unprecedented. Furthermore,Runing Man,the assortment shows produced by SBS, non merely followed closely by Asiatic people, but the Western people besides. In the past few old ages, the production squad of running adult male was invited by the authorities of Thailand, China and Hong Kong, in order to advance its touristry. In 2014, the bend is passed to the Australian authorities. In the particular episodes of Australia, different tourer attractive forces, such as Tanglooma Island Resort and Royal Arcade, were highlighted and promoted by the MCs and different beautiful shootings. It reveals that the Western people begin to take their eyes on Korean cultural merchandises and believe in its influential power. Most significantly, many Korean dad stars and graven image groups start looking on foreign Television ads and assist advancing their merchandises. For illustration, Kim Soo Hyun, the histrion ofMy Love,is invited to be the interpreter of Samsonite – an American transnational baggage trade name – late.

Decision

Surely, the Hallyu phenomena non merely further the modernisation of Korea, but besides bring some negative effects to the state.