Beat of Asia: Analyzing East Asia’s Cultural Hierarchy and the Negotiation of Hallyu Stars’ Identity and Songs


The study examines the nascent paradigm shift in transnational pop culture production in East Asia as Korean pop music is becoming the next epicentre for pop culture in Asia - a status long enjoyed by Japan. The popularity of K-Pop in Japan is said to be a major development since it is an example of how a cultural product from the periphery or a non-hegemonic culture can attain success in the center or the hegemonic culture. Thus, focusing on the K-Pop boom in Japan, the study aims to answer the following questions: How are the identities and songs of Hallyu stars negotiated as they take part in the complex transnational flow of culture? And given the strategies employed by Asian cultural industries in the transbordering activities of Hallyu stars, what can be said about the cultural hierarchy in the region, and on Japan-Korea relations? Framed under the Culturalist discourse on Hallyu and the concept of global flows and scapes, the study employs a political and socio-cultural approach in analyzing Korean female solo singer BoA's transbordering activities as a component of Hallyu in Japan. Findings show that the success of BoA within the region is contingent on the evolving political, economic, and socio-cultural postcolonial relations of Japan and South Korea. Furthermore, BoA's activities in Japan has heavily compromised her identity as a K-Pop artist, but this venture has also made her a Hallyu Star and an 'Asian Star' back in Korea - a demonstration of Japan's continuing top position in Asia.

Author Information
Lara Danielle Cartujano, University of the Philippines, Philippines

Paper Information
Conference: ACCS2016
Stream: Media Studies

This paper is part of the ACCS2016 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon