IJSSH 2015 Vol.5(8): 730-734 ISSN: 2010-3646
DOI: 10.7763/IJSSH.2015.V5.548

A Historical Consideration into Two Perspectives on Culture Revealed in the New Korean Wave Discourse

Jimin Jung
Abstract—Gangnam Style’s worldwide success has marked the epitome of the new “hallyu” (Korean wave) trend that dates back to the late 2000s. Its origin dates back to 1990s, during which the Korean TV shows became popular in greater Asia. The next wave of 2000s introduced Korean music, K-Pop, to the world, to a wider audience beyond Asia. In Korea, the unprecedented success of Psy’s Gangnam Style ignited a heated discussion on hallyu’s effect, marketing strategies and future. The Korean government labeled the past two decades of hallyu as hallyu 1.0 and 2.0. respectively. In the new decade, the government intends to create hallyu 3.0, aiming to promote Korean culture beyond the narrow channels of K-Pop and K-Drama. After the recent wave of Korean craze has passed, many have raised criticisms against the current discourses on the new hallyu. Most of these disapprove of the cultural imperialism and cultural nationalism that underlie the current discourses on hallyu, and calls for a more open, global framework tolerant of cultural diversity. These criticisms are reasonable and necessary; Koreans’ cultural nationalistic fervor is certainly a problem. However, they overlook the inseparability between cultural nationalism and transnational cultural trend. This study looks at cultural nationalism as a constant in transnational cultural interaction, and treats it as a subject worth exploring. To understand transnational cultural phenomenon in case of Korea, the best historical example is Japan, a past colonial power which had ruled Korea. Thus this study attempts to further the critical discourse on hallyu by comparing the Japanese wave discourses of Korea and the new hallyu discourse of 2010s.

Index Terms—Korean wave (hallyu), Japanese wave (ilryu), nationalism, transnational cultural phenomenon.

Jimin Jung is with the Department of Korean Language and Literature at Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea (e-mail: anyria@ naver.com).

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Cite: Jimin Jung, " A Historical Consideration into Two Perspectives on Culture Revealed in the New Korean Wave Discourse," International Journal of Social Science and Humanity vol. 5, no. 8, pp. 730-734, 2015.

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