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If you keep with research on K-pop, you may be aware of the iFans: Mapping Kpop’s International Fandom project. The surveys that make up the qualitative studies seek to understand how the fandoms differ from one another and their relationship to the groups they support. K-pop fans know that the fandoms are unique. Because they have detailed knowledge of the groups they support, they provide a unique perspective on the appeal of their respective groups. Too often, commentators make assumptions about K-pop fans, while the iFans studies goes to the source: the fans.
As the chart above shows, fans of 2NE1 and BigBang have participated the most in the surveys, while fans of Shinhwa and Aziatix have participated the least. Other groups with high participation rates include SHINee and TVXQ, while other groups with low participation rates include Epik High and f(x).
These participation rates are interesting, because groups like Super Junior and Girls’ Generation have very active global fandoms, yet those numbers are not reflected in participation rates. Rates may not reflect all fans, just fans who are likely to take (and complete) a survey. Participation rates may be affected by the activity of the groups.
The iFans Case Studies survey is still active, and now, individuals can take the survey for multiple or individual groups.
Now that a good deal of data has been collected, look for new research reports on what K-pop fans say about their favorite groups!
Crystal S. Anderson, PhD
Associate Professor, Elon University (U.S.)
K-pop girl groups tend to be described as sexy, fierce or cute. Some suggest that images of fierceness encourage girls to be empowered, while images of cuteness take away their agency. However, responses by fans of f(x), a K-pop female group, suggest that fans prefer unique and diverse images of women.
IFANS: Mapping K-pop’s International Fandom is a scholarly research project that examines global fan attitudes and activities through surveys, collection of information on online communities and analysis of websites. Crystal S. Anderson, PhD (Elon University) is the Principal Investigator of the studies and Curator of the iFans project site.
As you know, KPK is dedicated to collecting information about Hallyu-era K-pop. To that end, we are in the process of creating enhanced profiles of Kpop artists and groups, with even more information!
KPOPIANA is a collaborative digital humanities project that aims to collect and organize information about Korean popular music of the Hallyu era (1992-present). It is built on the Omeka platform, which” is web-publishing platform that allows anyone with an account to create or collaborate on a website to display collections and build digital exhibitions.” This allows us to present information in a more interactive kind of way.
Members of KPK are in the process of migrating profiles from WordPress to Omeka, as well as creating new profiles in Omeka. Check out some of your favorite profiles:
AND, one new profile:
Don’t worry! You will always be able to find links for old and new profiles here on the KPK blog, or you can navigate straight to KPOPIANA as we migrate more profiles, so you never have to worry about where to find your K-pop info! We’ll be rolling out new enhanced profiles over the next few months, so stay tuned!