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East Asian Pop CultureAnalysing the Korean Wave$
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Beng Huat Chua and Koichi Iwabuchi

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9789622098923

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789622098923.001.0001

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Mapping Out the Cultural Politics of “the Korean Wave” in Contemporary South Korea

Mapping Out the Cultural Politics of “the Korean Wave” in Contemporary South Korea

(p.174) (p.175) 9 Mapping Out the Cultural Politics of “the Korean Wave” in Contemporary South Korea
East Asian Pop Culture

Keehyeung Lee

Hong Kong University Press

This chapter critically examines three competing positions on the Korean Wave or Hanryu in South Korea developed by the South Korean government, cultural producers and critical intellectuals; namely, neoliberalism, state-centric nationalism, culturalism cum post-colonialism. It reviews a diverse range of issues regarding the rapid diffusion and growing popularity of South Korean cultural products across Asia by employing a critical and culturally nuanced approach. It aims to provide alternative, nonnationalist ways of envisioning the flow of South Korean popular culture across Asia so as to further inter-regional cultural understanding and dialogues. It then raises several thought-provoking issues and problematics on the emergence of Hanryu. Looking at the recent circulation of Hanryu discourses through the cultural studies lens presents new forms of explanation of translocally consumed cultural texts as well as new problematics that need more than critical discursive intervention.

Keywords:   Korean Wave, Hanryu, South Korea, neoliberalism, state-centric nationalism, culturalism, post-colonialism, South Korean popular culture

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