Korean cultural products (known as Hallyu) are now the dominant incarnation of East Asian culture throughout Southeast Asia and have introduced consumers to Korean industry, cosmetics, and culture. Recent work has concentrated heavily upon this region and the new dynamics Southeast Asian countries can offer to the study of inter-Asian cultural links, particularly during the political amalgamation of the ASEAN economic community. Yet in the more developed Southeast Asian nations of Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines, there is some evidence of a rejection of and animosity towards Hallyu products from consumers who are beginning to question and disapprove of the high number of Korean products in their countries. Through interviews with over 70 consumers dissatisfied with Hallyu across these three nations, this project identifies three main areas under which this potential for a Hallyu “backlash” occurs: perceptions of colonial-esque attitudes and cultural imperialism from Korea; the movement of Hallyu from an innovative new “high culture” to a static and out-of-date “low culture”; and the increasing availability of new and different international products that threaten to usurp Hallyu. Such evidence represents a potential change in East and Southeast Asian relations, as well as the long term difficulties inherent in using Hallyu as a vehicle to maintain Korean influence.


innovation, anti-Hallyu, soft power, K-pop, K-dramas

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Kritika Kultura
Department of English
School of Humanities
Ateneo de Manila University

The Philippine Commission on Higher Education (CHED) declares Kritika Kultura as a CHED-recognized journal under the Journal Challenge Category of its Journal Incentive Program.

International Board of Editors

Jan Baetens
Faculty of Arts
Katholieke Universiteit te Leuven (Belgium)

Joel David
Professor of Cultural Studies
Inha University (South Korea)

Michael Denning
Professor of American Studies and English
Department of English
Yale University (US)

Faculty of Cultural Sciences
Universitas Gadjah Mada (Indonesia)

Regenia Gagnier
Professor of English
University of Exeter (UK)

Leela Gandhi
John Hawkes Professor of the Humanities and English
Brown University (US)

Inderpal Grewal
Professor of Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies
Professor of South Asian Studies, Ethnicity, Race and Migration Studies
Yale University (US)

Peter Horn
Professor Emeritus and Honorary Lifetime Fellow
University of Cape Town (South Africa)
Honorary Professor and Research Associate in German Studies
University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)

Anette Horn
Professor of German Studies
University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)

David Lloyd
Distinguished Professor of English
University of California, Riverside (US)

Bienvenido Lumbera
National Artist for Literature
Professor Emeritus
University of the Philippines

Rajeev S. Patke
Director of the Division of Humanities
Professor of Humanities
Yale NUS College (Singapore)

Vicente L. Rafael
Giovanni and Amne Costigan Endowed Professor of History
University of Washington (US)

Vaidehi Ramanathan
Department of Linguistics
University of California, Davis (US)

Temario Rivera
Professorial Lecturer
Department of Political Science
University of the Philippines

E. San Juan, Jr.
Philippines Studies Center (US)

Neferti X.M. Tadiar
Professor of Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies
Barnard College (US)
Director of the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race
Columbia University (US)

Antony Tatlow
Honorary Professor of Drama
Trinity College Dublin (Ireland)