Reading the "Korean Wave" as a Sign of Global Shift

(Vol.45. No.4 Winter, 2005 pp.147~182)
Cho Hae-Joang
In this paper, I examined the discourse surrounding the "Korean Wave," within South Korea media from 2001 till 2005. The cultural nationalist, the neoliberal, and the postcolonial camps were drawing the discursive terrain of the Korean Wave, sometimes clashing and at other times engaging each other in strategic compromises. The initial diverse discourses congealed and merged in their concentration on economic profit later on, which is indicative of a neoliberal turn in the 2000s Korea. The media technology revolution and global capitalism prepared the system for the manufacture of cultural products and circulation within Asia, and formed the coeval space of capitalist Asia. However, the diverse images and texts circulating within Asia were providing new opportunities to construct an alternate consciousness through the sharing of popular culture. Non-Western societies which used to measure their modernities against Western standards entered the new stage of subject formation.
Keywords: Korean wave, globalization, modernity, culture industry, cultural nationalism, neoliberalism, postcolonialism, contact zone
Types: Articles
Subject: The Arts , Sociology
About the author(s) Cho Hae-Joang (Jo, Hye-jeong), a practicing cultural anthropologist and feminist, is Professor of Sociology at Yonsei University. She is the author of Reading Text and Reading Lives in the Postcolonial Era (in Korean). Email: haejoang@gmail.com.