From Localization to Glocalization: Contriving Korean Pop Culture to Meet Glocal Demands

Ingyu Oh

DOI: https://dx.doi.org/

Abstract

Hallyu (the Korean Wave) has been around the world since the late 1990s. Over the period of twenty years, Hallyu has evolved from a regional entertainment pop to a global cultural content. The evolution of Hallyu, like any other evolutions, has involved a long process of localization and globalization. Both K-pop and K-dramas, the two major pillars of the Hallyu revolution, are foreign imports. K-pop has mostly been influenced by European and American dance music since the early 1990s, whereas K-dramas have been heavily influenced by Japanese trendy TV dramas in the past, particularly during the 1980s. However, the localization of K-pop and K-dramas by Korean artists, writers, and producers demonstrated their adept rearrangement skills that ushered in a new era of a domestic pop culture boom that had been on the verge of destruction due to Hollywood films, Japanese pop culture contents, and the financial crisis that swept through the nation since 1997. K-pop and K-dramas have successfully gained domestic fame to propagate its commercial influence in Asia, Europe, Latin America, and North America. The collection of papers gathered in this Forum Kritika on Hallyu Studies presents their analyses on the process of localizing and globalizing Hallyu, or what I call glocalization. Briefly, glocalization denotes a successful localization of foreign products so much so that original inventors of the products want to import the local variations instead of their originals. Americans buying a massive number of Japanese cars, for example, is a good case of glocalizaiton. Hallyu’s glocalization success indicates that the domestic Korean demand for high quality pop culture has induced new types of competition that required importing global pop content, simultaneously requiring them to contrive to produce better quality pop content than the originals for re-exporting to foreign markets, given the enormous investments that cannot be recouped from a small Korean market.


Keywords

Female fandom, K-drama, K-pop, melancholia, ressentiment, tacit knowledge

Please login first to access subscription form of article

Read Full text in PDF

Browse By

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
Professor
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)

Faruk
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)