When it comes to the promotion of culture, many tend to highlight the vital role of public initiatives. This idea is based on the common perception that culture is part of the nationstate. This belief also stems from the confusion between two types of culture. To address such misperceptions, this paper emphasizes a distinction between accumulated and accumulable cultures: The former is associated with the nation-state and local conditions. Given that it has formed over a long period of time with the accumulation of related cultural practices, the need to protect it is strong. On the other hand, accumulable culture is less associated with the nation-state and is more universalistic. As it has only formed relatively recently, it can be further improved and enhanced. Alongside this, it should be well understood that accumulated culture was also once accumulable and has survived over time. Furthermore, this paper argues that in order to promote accumulable culture, private initiatives would have a more significant impact than public efforts. For example, the role of the Korean government has usually been credited by several media outlets and scholars in explaining the emergence of K-pop; however, a rigorous analysis of K-pop clearly demonstrates that private initiatives have actually been more effective in promoting K-pop internationally. This perspective intends to provide important implications for policy makers to formulate more effective policies that would help promote their national culture as a source of soft power.


accumulated culture, accumulable culture, cultural policy, public initiatives, private initiatives, K-pop, Hallyu

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

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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)