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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!
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.
|Name||MBLAQ (pronounced “Em-Black”)|
|Meaning of Name||Music Boys Living in Absolute Quality|
|Members||Yang Seungho (Seung Ho, Leader)
Jung Byung Hee (G.O.)
Lee Chang Sun (Lee Joon)
Park Sang Hyun (Cheon Dung, ‘Thunder’)
Bang Cheol Yong (Mir, maknae)
|Debut||October 9, 2009|
|Label||J. Tune Entertainment/JYP Entertainment (2009-present)|
|Origin of Fan Name||All members have bloodtype A, and A+ means “Absolute Quality”|
|Fan Club Website(s)||http://www.absolutemblaq.net/blog/
|Related Websites||http://m-blaq.com/ (MBLAQ’s official site, Korean/English)
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Released: May 4, 2011
Label: Sony Records
1. Your Luv
2. Into the Light
3. ダイジョウブ (Daijoubu/Never mind)
4. Your Luv – Less Vocal Mix