Society and Identity
Over the past couple of decades, Korean pop culture has gained transnational popularity and has transformed the global cultural landscape and power dynamics to some extent. Its presence in the US has also become visible with a growing fan base crossing racial, ethnic, class and gender boundaries, which has brought about new social relations, communities and cultural references. This paper will examine the various ramifications that the consumption of Korean pop culture has generated, especially with regard to American youths’ sense of identity and community-building. Comparing Asian American (including Korean American) and non-Asian American youths, this paper will explore: 1) the ways in which Korean pop culture consumption has affected individuals’ identity and sense of belonging; 2) the kinds of communities that have been formed and what they signify; 3) the potential for social activism and social change through the shared interest in Korean pop culture; 4) how race and ethnicity affect the new community-building; 5) the role of Korean Americans in this process.