The stage is yours! Can Korean popular culture be internationally successful?


Essay, 2016
4 Pages, Grade: 1,0

Free online reading

I. The Korean Popular Culture before it started to rise:

During the Chosun dynasty, Korea was very secluded, because Korea didn’t want to get influenced by other cultures (especially the Western powers).[1] But in the last decade of the 19th century, the demands of other countries were increasing, so Korea had to open his doors and get more connected with other countries and cultures.[2] During the annexation and occupation of Korea through Japan, Korea’s culture got influenced by the Japanese culture (which can also be called Japanized Western Culture), which was already modernized compared to other asian countries.[3] It’s influence was very big and it began to replace the traditional Korean culture.[4] So you can say that the globalization or cultural imperialism was forced by the colonial power.[5] This influence of modernized cultures was continuing after the liberation from Japan in 1945.[6] Since then, the korean culture and society was influenced by the Western cultures.[7] The Korean government saw the big cultural influence of other cultures and also recognized that this influence can be dangerous, so it decided to reduce the influence by censorship and a protecting policy.[8] But after the 1980s the pressure from the West to open cultural markets in Korea became too high and Korea opened them.[9] The neoliberalism ideology had some positive effects on Korea, but the reverse of the medal was that this ideology was partly responsible for the financial crisis in 1997.[10] After this, globalization started again, but it was again a forced globalization. This time, it was forced by the IMF, which imposed a series of policy advice on the Korean government as a quid pro quo for the bailout.[11]

II. The rise of the Korean Popular Culture:

This was the starting point of the rise of the Korean Popular Culture (in my opinion). Korea is a very proud country and the situation during the crisis in 1997 hurted the hearts of the korean population emotionally. This was the point, where nationalism and patriotism started to rise again.[12] Korea opened the cultural markets and recognized the value of the culture and media industry.[13] And Korea wasn’t the only one who saw that. Not only domestic conglomerates, also transnational conglomerates started to invest in the Korean culture industry.[14] The government supported the culture industry heavily, established the Culture Industry Bureau in the Ministry of Culture in 1994 and enacted the Culture Industry Promotion Act in 1999.[15] The support of this culture industry became one of the most important strategies of the Korean government.[16] With all this investment and support the Korean Popular Culture Industry (for example the film industry) transformed from a small and fragile to a strong and competitive industry.[17] The products of the Korean Popular Culture industry has been improving, qualitatively as well as quantitatively.[18] Some other governments rated this „Korean Wave“ more as an „cultural invasion“, and to be more clear, not as a friendly and positive one. But even with this pressure against it, the „Korean Wave“[19] never really ceased.[20]

III. Reasons for the rise of the Korean Popular Culture:

So all in all it is obvious that there are mainly three reasons that transformed the Korean Popular Culture industry and Popular Culture in general to a great extent[21]:

- High investment in the Korean Popular Culture industry[22]
- Strenghening of the competitiveness of the Korean Popular Culture industry[23]
- Strong government support[24]
-ut there also also some more factors, that conduced to success of the Korean Popular Culture[25]:
- Development of the technology[26]
- Change of the „style“ of music[27], films etc.
- Mixing the traditional Korean culture with Western cultures and other Asian cultures[28]
- Change of the taste of different generations (especially the youth)[29]

IV. The development of the Korean Popular Culture in the future:

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 1 - Interest over tim - The number 100 represents the peak search volume[30]

Nobody can say it for sure how the Korean Popular Culture will develop in the future, but i think that this rapid develop will go on until another cultural trend shows up and conquers the global culture.

V. My own observation / My opinion:

I think that almost everyone (at least of the younger generations), in Asia and also in Western cultures, has already heared of the terms „K-Pop“ (the abbreviated expression for Korean Popular Music)[31], „The Korean Wave“ or „Korean Popular Culture“ and nearly all oft hem have a clue what it stands for. For example in my country (Germany), a high percentage of the younger generation knows something about the Korean Popular Culture, but there are not so many real fans or even hardcore fans. But when i came to Korea i recognized, that a lot of the exchange students, especially the female students from the asian continent, are big fans of it. I was really suprised when i saw that they know a lot of Korean artists as well as Korean songs and Korean dramas. And i was more suprised that some of them are able to sing the famous K-Pop-Songs without making a fault in the lyrics, even if they can’t speak one word of the Korean language. And i also recognized at the Ajou Summer Festival 2016 that there are some hardcore fans who dress like their idols and go crazy when their idols come on the stage and start to perform.[32] I think that the Korean Popular Culture has already become very big, strong, competitive and influential. I also think, that it spreaded out internationally. But i think at the moment it is more concentrated on the Asian continent and maybe in the United States. Even if there are some fans of the Korean Popular Culture in Europe, it is not that well known in Europe compared to the situation in Asia. I think for the most of the Europeans this kind of culture, music, films etc. is kinda uncommon and maybe strange, they have to become accustomed to it and this will take some time. But i think that the Korean Popular Culture is already successful internationally and that it is able to „conquer“ the European market, too.

VI. Sources of information:

- Yang, Jonghoe. 2007. “Globalization, Nationalism, and Regionalization: The Case of Korean Popular Culture”, Development and Society 36(2): 177-199.
- Kim, Shin Dong. 2013. “The Rise of the Korean Cinema in Inbound and Outbound Globalization”.
- Shim, Doobo. 2013. “Korean Cinema Industry and Cinema Regionalization in East Asia”.
- Shin, Hyunjoo. 2013. “Transnational K-pop Machine Searching for “Asian” Model through Crossbreeding?”.
- New York Times. 2015.08.09. “K-pop Fans Swoon During East Coast KCON”.
- URL: https://tengzeming.wordpress.com/category/culture/, (Retrieved: 2016.06.12).
- URL: http://eng.iwahs.org/data/Korea_Exchange_Summer_Program_Abdul_Malik_‌Badeges_UM.pdf, (Retrieved: 2016.06.12).
- Kyung Moon Hwang (2015): Inventing and exporting Korean popular culture, in: The Korea Times, URL: http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2015/12/633_‌185600.html, (Retrieved: 2016.06.12).

[...]


[1] Cf. Yang, Jonghoe. 2007, p. 182.

[2] Cf. Yang, Jonghoe. 2007, p. 182; Cf. Kim, Shin Dong. 2013, p. 172.

[3] Cf. Yang, Jonghoe. 2007, p. 182.

[4] Cf. Yang, Jonghoe. 2007, p. 182.

[5] Cf. Yang, Jonghoe. 2007, p. 182.

[6] Cf. Yang, Jonghoe. 2007, p. 182.

[7] Cf. Yang, Jonghoe. 2007, p. 182.

[8] Cf. Yang, Jonghoe. 2007, p. 183; Cf. Shim, Doobo. 2013, pp. 53-55; Cf. URL: http://eng.iwahs.org/data/‌Korea_Exchange_Summer_Program_Abdul_Malik_Badeges_UM.pdf, (Retrieved: 2016.06.12), p. 3.

[9] Cf. Yang, Jonghoe. 2007, p. 183; Cf. Shim, Doobo. 2013, p. 65; Cf. Kyung Moon Hwang (2015).

[10] Cf. Yang, Jonghoe. 2007, p. 184.

[11] Cf. Yang, Jonghoe. 2007, p. 184.

[12] Cf. Yang, Jonghoe. 2007, p. 185; Cf. Shin, Hyunjoo. 2013, p.140.

[13] Cf. Yang, Jonghoe. 2007, p. 187.

[14] Cf. Yang, Jonghoe. 2007, p. 187; Cf. Shin, Hyunjoo. 2013, p.139; Cf. Kim, Shin Dong. 2013, p. 181.

[15] Cf. Yang, Jonghoe. 2007, p. 187; Cf. Shim, Doobo. 2013, p. 56.

[16] Cf. Yang, Jonghoe. 2007, p. 187.

[17] Cf. Yang, Jonghoe. 2007, p. 188; Cf. Kim, Shin Dong. 2013, pp. 172-173, 175; Cf. Kim, Shin Dong. 2013, p. 185.

[18] Cf. Yang, Jonghoe. 2007, pp. 188-189; Cf. Shim, Doobo. 2013, p. 56.

[19] Cf. Shim, Doobo. 2013, p. 59; Cf. URL: http://eng.iwahs.org/data/Korea_Exchange_Summer_Program_‌Abdul_Malik_Badeges_UM.pdf, (Retrieved: 2016.06.12), p. 2.

[20] Cf. Shin, Hyunjoo. 2013, pp.143-144.

[21] Cf. Yang, Jonghoe. 2007, p. 188.

[22] Cf. Shim, Doobo. 2013, p. 57.

[23] Cf. Shim, Doobo. 2013, pp. 55, 61.

[24] Cf. Shim, Doobo. 2013, p. 58.

[25] Cf. Yang, Jonghoe. 2007, pp. 190-194.

[26] Cf. Kim, Shin Dong. 2013, p. 177; Cf. Kyung Moon Hwang (2015).

[27] Cf. Shin, Hyunjoo. 2013, pp.137, 139, 144.

[28] Cf. Shim, Doobo. 2013, p. 65; Cf. Kyung Moon Hwang (2015).

[29] Cf. Shin, Hyunjoo. 2013, p.142; Cf. Shim, Doobo. 2013, p. 57.

[30] Cf. URL: https://tengzeming.wordpress.com/category/culture/, (Retrieved: 2016.06.12).

[31] Cf. Shin, Hyunjoo. 2013, p.136.

[32] Similar to the situation described in: New York Times. 2015.08.09. “K-pop Fans Swoon During East Coast KCON”.

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Title
The stage is yours! Can Korean popular culture be internationally successful?
Grade
1,0
Author
Year
2016
Pages
4
Catalog Number
V346647
File size
827 KB
Language
English
Tags
korean
Quote paper
Christoph Bieramperl (Author), 2016, The stage is yours! Can Korean popular culture be internationally successful?, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/346647

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