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Korean Cultural Influence

Kwang-Suk Lee


South Korea has emerged as a center of pop culture throughout Asia: its scope of cultural influence encompasses Eurasia (e.g., Uzbekistan, Mongolia, and Russia), East Asia (e.g., China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, and Japan), Southeast Asia (e.g., Cambodia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia), and even extends beyond Asia. Korea's cultural products – notably, its blockbuster movies, television programs, →  fashion , and →  popular music – have become favorites among Asians and even among Latin Americans. The so-called “Korean wave” (or Halryu , a term first coined by Chinese reporters in 1999) refers to the growing appeal of Korean →  Popular Culture in other Asian countries ( Koh et al. 2005 ), while the Korean government's rhetoric of the “digital Korean wave” is an attempt to ride the wave of Korea's cultural influence by simultaneously promoting Korea's high-tech electronic companies such as Samsung Electronics (→  Samsung Corporation ). Korean →  Television programs and →  cinema have gained a “pan-Asianist” value ( Dator & Seo 2004 ; Kim 2007 ), and the scope of their cultural influence in the global market has become similar to the pan-Iberian/Latin American telenovela culture, which is relatively independent from the monolithic cultural dominance of the →  Hollywood empire (→  Cultural Imperialism Theories ). Korea's pan-Asian appeal can be ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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