Last Fans Standing: A Multiple Case Study of Longtime and Adult K-pop Fans


Survey: Last Fans Standing: Longtime and Adult K-pop Fans

Most people assume that the only audience for modern Korean popular music (K-pop) is teenagers. As a result, they also assume that K-pop music lacks longevity.  However, the presence of longtime fans suggests that K-pop remains appealing to some fans for years. The existence of adult fans challenges the notion that K-pop only appeals to teenagers.  This multiple case study seeks to understand why individuals remain K-pop fans for years and why adults find K-pop appealing. For three years, I will be asking questions about these atypical fans of K-pop. This survey contains several open-ended and multiple-choice questions that ask how fans see themselves and ask about their K-pop music preferences and fan activity. Please take the survey!


Introducing the KPK ’16 Line!


Meet KPK’s newest Research Assistants!!!!

Annalyn Constantine is a junior at the University of San Francisco, majoring in International Studies (focusing on Peace and Conflict) and minoring in Asian Studies and Philosophy. All throughout my life I’ve been keenly interested in Asian pop culture and traditions, from anime to K-pop and Japanese and Korean dramas; and now more recently, Asian philosophy, political philosophy and racial formation. It’s both my guilty pleasure and passion but I want to blend those two together and examine my biases (and all that crazy fan/fandom logic from an academic lens…hence I’m here at KPK!) There’s so much to explore about Korea and K-pop and its connection with ethics politics, sociology, and race, just from the Hallyu wave that you’d be pretty surprised! My ultimate favorite group is BTS (Suga stan if you need to know) and I also love SHINee, Monsta X and Oh My Girl. I’m a cynical and sarcastic fan, but I hope you’ll find my edits and profiles interesting despite my weird taste in humor.

Ashley Lin studies Advertising & Asian Pacific American Studies at University of San Francisco.  She is interested in the role of branding for groups, specifically how essential it has become to build a strong marketable image that allows them to build connections with their fans. She discovered K-pop in 2008 and likes to reminisce about “the good ol’ days when this-or-that group were just rookies.” After a 3 year break, she realized that it was impossible to leave K-pop. Now she’s returned as a fully devoted Starlight, and spends her free time blogging and following her biases on SNS. Her current bias groups include VIXX(!!), Seventeen, B1A4, BTOB, and BTS.

Damon Young is a graduate student in Asia Pacific Studies at the University of San Francisco (USF), a TA for the Interdisciplinary Research Methods in Asia Pacific Studies course, and a Peer Mentor/Tutor for the MAPS program.  I am spending this summer as an intern working on the Camp Digital Archive Project for the National Japanese American Historical Society and as a Research Assistant at USF exploring assimilation theory and the Korean immigrant experience in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco.  My personal history with music from Korea began with waking up on the weekends to my parents playing songs by such artists as Yun Sooil, Cho Yongpil, or Lee Sunhee from our big home stereo system.  These days I’m either grooving to Zion.T or Crush or bouncing to Keith Ape and the whole Cohort gang.  But when I want to get down and get my “girl crush concept” on, I turn it up to Red Velvet (as I wait for Black Pink to debut!).

Kpop Kollective: Saving Kpop, One Profile at a Time


KPK: Kpop Kollective is the oldest and only aca-fansite for modern Korean popular music (K-pop). Established in 2010, it has developed into a community of practice  and a thematic research collection centered on K-pop.  Kpop Kollective promotes the public’s understanding of contemporary Korean popular culture, creates resources and provides analysis and context on K-pop from a global perspective.

Using Canva for K-pop



Try Canva for your creative information organizing projects!


Kaetrena Davis Kendrick, M.S.L.S.

University of South Carolina Lancaster

After several years of curating Kpop music and performers, there’s one thing I’ve learned: Kpop fans and scholars at all levels are talking about and presenting on all aspects of Korean popular culture in academia – from high school to postgraduate work.

A quick online search shows that students use several different presentation and design tools to fulfill assignments (with Korean popular culture as the topic) in many courses, including digital media, linguistics, and economics. These tools are great for longer presentations, but sometimes, you just need something not so lengthy to support a short talk. Other times, you may want to augment a presentation and give your audience an impactful take-away that they can revisit and share quickly with others.

That’s where the infographic comes in. Techopedia defines infographic – and its use – as “a visual representation of a data set or instructive material. An infographic takes a large amount of information in text or numerical form and then condenses it into a combination of images and text, allowing viewers to quickly grasp the essential insights the data contains.” (2016)

News and media distributed via the Internet have increasingly used infographics to support content. Soompi, DramaFever, and more recently, My Music Taste have used the medium to distribute information about Kpop trends. You will also find many Kpop fans and culture bloggers using infographics to promote their favorite groups or Korean food and language.

There are many tools you can use to create infographics, from Piktochart to; however, Canva rises to the top of the list for a few reasons:

  1. It’s free (unlike Piktochart, which has a limited free version)
  2. In contrast to, lots of “turnkey” templates and other drag-and-drop design elements are available in Canva, which means
  3. There’s a low learning curve. A low learning curve means
  4. You can distribute your unique content more quickly
  5. If you need to collaborate on a design, you can easily share work with others to edit.

In addition to a lot of templates, Canva users also have broad color, font, photo, and icon choices. For those who want to be really fancy, for-cost design elements are just $1.00, and the cost isn’t applied until the final design is saved. Designs can be saved as images (.jpg or .png) or a document (.pdf). Users can also share their work on social media since Canva automatically invites users to tweet or post their work after a design has been saved.


An infographic of Shim Changmin (Max) of TVXQ! Created using Canva. Credit: Kaetrena Davis Kendrick.


I created this simple infographic featuring TVXQ’s Max (Shim Chang Min) in a matter of minutes (imagine all I could do with 30 minutes to an hour to spare!).

Canva also has lots of other uses – many users have created CD covers, website banners, postcards, and more using the tool. It’s easy to explore what other users are doing, too – users just click on the “Get design inspiration” link in their account dashboard to check out and comment on the latest designs in the Canva community.

Currently Canva is available for iPad for those who want to design on-the-go.

TIP: To get the most out of Canva, sign up using a .edu e-mail account.

Like it? Try Canva for Work, too!


Technopedia. (2016). What is an infographic?. Retrieved from


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CONFERENCE: Undergraduate Research and Digital Humanities @ CUR 2016 Biennial

Beyond the Classroom: Undergraduate Research and Digital Humanities

CUR 2016 Biennial Conference | Tampa, FL | June 23-28, 2016

Students may be “digital natives,” but how can we channel their informal interaction with digital environments into a rich research experience? This presentation shares digital tools that students can use for Internet research and explores the challenges of working on co-curricular collaborative digital humanities projects with undergraduates.

Undergraduate research is often constructed within a curricular context, focusing on the face-to-face experience between an instructor and student as crucial to mentoring and the transmission of inquiry and research skills. This presentation shares the experience of a collaborative digital humanities project conducted through the Internet. Because of its digital nature, the project invited students globally to participate as research assistants. Students were trained, received feedback on their work and participated in a research community almost entirely in a digital environment. As a result, new models of engaging students online emerged from the project. The project introduced students to an array of digital tools and trained them in skills that they could use in their curricular lives beyond the project. At the same time, the project encountered several challenges involved with motivating an undergraduate population outside of a course working on an unfunded project. The presentation will explore how the digital presents new opportunities for undergraduate research, especially in areas where faculty mentorship exists outside of the institution.

Presentation: Beyond the Classroom: Undergraduate Research and Digital Humanities


For Your Reading Pleasure: A Hallyu Bibliography, Part 6: INTERNET & SOCIAL MEDIA

Kaetrena Davis Kendrick, M.S.L.S.

University of South Carolina Lancaster

Welcome to Part 6 of my ongoing series of bibliographic entries about Hallyu.   These entries are listed by year, not by author (TIP: If you know about a title or author and you want to see if it’s included in this listing, use the CTRL + F function).

To learn more about my searching parameters, information-gathering processes, and your ability to access these items, see my earlier essay titled For Your Reading Pleasure: Introducing A Hallyu Bibliography.”  Click for Part 1 , Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5 of the bibliography.

This is a working post, so if you would like to submit items to this list or to the bibliography, please contact me directly at

NOTE:  In order to make it easier to locate authors (and where possible), I’ve modified these APA Style citations by adding full author names where possible.

Nakamura, Lisa. (2003). “Where do you want to go today?” Cybernetic tourism, the internet and transnationality. In G. Dines and J. M. Humez Gender, Race and Class in Media. (pp.684-687).Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.

Choi, Jaz Hee-jeong. (2006). Living in Cyworld: Contextualising Cy-Ties in South Korea. In Bruns, Axel & Jacobs, Joanne (Eds.) Uses of Blogs. (pp. 173-186). New York: Peter Lang.

Ramesh, Bharadwaj. (2006). A Hallyu Story: Behind the origins and success of the Korean wave in China & the future of content in a broadband world. Accessed 17 June 2016 from   

Farrer, James. (2007). Asian youth culture in a globalizing world: Networked and not inhibited. Global Asia, 2(1): 102-110. Accessed 17 June 2016 from

Kang, Seungmook & Hadong Kim. (2009). Korean traditional space creator for digital contents. The International Journal of Virtual Reality, 8(3): 33-37. Accessed 22 August 2012 from

Kim, Kyung Hee, Yun Haejin & Youngmin Yoon. (2009). The internet as a facilitator of cultural hybridization and interpersonal relationship management for Asian international students in South Korea. Asian Journal of Communication, 19(2): 152-169. Retrieved 16 June 2016 from

Cha, Hyunhee & Seongmook Kim. (2011). A case study on Korean wave: Focused on K-pop concert by Korean idol groups in Paris, June 2011. In T. Kim et. Al (Eds.) Multimedia, Computer Graphics, and Broadcasting. (pp. 153-162). Heidelberg: Springer.

Jung, Eun Young. (2012). New Wave formations: K-pop idol bands, social media and the remaking of the Korean Wave. Presented at the Nam Center for Korean Studies’ Hallyu 2.0: The Korean Wave in the Age of Social Media Symposium. Accessed 16 June 2016 from   

Jung, Sun. (2012). K-pop, Indonesian fandom, and social media. Transformative Works and Cultures,8. Accessed 16 June 2016 from  

Lee, Moonhaeng. (2012). Star management of talent agencies and social media in Korea. In M. Friedrichsen and W. Muhl-Benninghaus (Eds.) Handbook of Social Media Management. (pp.549-564) New York: Springer.

Oh, Ingyu & Gil-Sung Park. (2012). From B2C to B2B: Selling Korean pop music in the age of social media. Korea Observer, 43(3): 365-397.

Ahn, JoongHo, Sehwan Oh & Hyunjung Kim. (2013). Korean pop takes off! Social media strategy of Korean entertainment industry. 10th International Conference on Service Systems and Service Management. IEEE. Pp. 774-777. Doi 10.1109/ICSSSM.2013.6602528

Oh, Chong-jin & Young-gil Chae. (2013). Constructing culturally proximate spaces through social network services: The case of Hallyu (Korean Wave) in Turkey. International Relations / Uluslararasi Iliskiler, 10(38): 77-99.

Oh, Ingyu and Hyo Jung Lee. (2013). Mass media technologies and popular music genres. K-pop and YouTube. Korea Journal, 53(4): 34-58. Accessed 17 June 2016 from,%20Ingyu%20OH%20and.pdf

Jin, Dal Yong & Kyong Yoon. (2014). The social mediascape of transnational Korean pop culture: Hallyu 2.0 as spreadable media practice. New Media & Society. Doi: 10.1177/1461444814554895.

Kim, Minjeong, Yun-Cheol Heo, Seong-Cheol Choi & Han Woo Park. (2014). Comparative trends in global communication networks of #Kpop tweets. Quantity & Quality, 48(5): 2687-2702. Doi 10.1007/s11135-013-9918-1.

Kim, Yong Hwan, Dahee Lee, Nam Gi Hong & Min Song. (2014). Exploring characteristics of video consuming behavior in different social media using K-pop videos. Journal of Information Science, 40(6): 806-822.

Kim, Yonghwan, Dahee Lee, Jung Eun Hahm, Namgi Han & Min Song. (2014). Investigating socio-cultural behavior of users reflected in different social channels on K-pop. Proceedings of the 23rd International Conference on World Wide Web. (pp. 325-326). Accessed 17 June 2016 from  Doi 10.1145/2567948.2577324

Seong, Cheol Choi, Xanat Vargas Meza & Han Woo Park. (2014). South Korean culture goes Latin America: Social network analysis of Kpop tweets in Mexico. International Journal of Contents, 10(1): 36-42.

Sung, Jun. (2014). Youth, social media and transnational cultural distribution: The case of online K-pop circulation. In A. Bennett and B. Robards (Eds.) Mediated Youth Cultures. (pp. 114-129). New York: Springer.

Hebrona, Matthew Niel. (2015). Ermagerd! Oppa so hot: Examining K-pop through Internet memes. Master’s thesis. The Graduate School of the Catholic University of Korea. Retrieved from

Song, Min, Yoo Kyung Jeong & Ha Jin Kim. (2015). Identifying the topology of the K-pop video community on YouTube: A combined co-comment analysis approach. Journal of the Association for Information Science & Technology, 66(12): 2580-2595.

Xu, Weiai Wayne, Ji Young Park & Han Woo Park. (2015). The networked cultural diffusion of Korean wave. Online Information Review, 39(1): 43-60.

Baek, Young Min. (2016). Relationship between cultural distance and cross-cultural music video consumption on YouTube. Social Science Computer Review, 33(6): 730-748.

King, Elizabeth. (2016). Kpop Twitter: group identity in a globalized space. Master’s Thesis, Ball State University. Accessed 17 June 2016 from

Yecies, Brian, Jie Yang, Aegyung Kim, Kai Soh & Matthew Berryman. (2016). The Douban online social media barometer and the Chinese reception of Korean popular media flows. Participants: Journal of Audience & Reception Studies, 13(1): 114-138. Accessed 17 June 2016 from

Yoon, Kyong & Dal Yong Jin. (2016). The Korean wave phenomenon in Asian diasporas in Canada. Journal of Intercultural Studies, 37(1): 69-83.

Song, Min. (n.d.) Detecting topology of K-pop stars on YouTube with bigdata analytics. Accessed 17 June 2016 from

Happy Reading!

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2016 KPK Global Recruitment


Are you a motivated, committed, detail-oriented person who can work independently? Want to use your love of Korean popular music for something important? Then it’s your lucky day! The 2016 KPK Global Recruitment is open!

Fostering a fun and engaging environment, KPK is the oldest aca-fansite and only community of scholars who work together to curate information about modern Korean popular music (K-pop) and offers the opportunity for student research assistants to learn how to do the same.

As research assistants, students create discographies and videographies for mini-profiles on K-pop artists using Google Slides and YouTube playlists. Using these digital tools, they develop information literacy skills, particularly the ability to locate and verify information. As members of a community of practice, they also receive valuable e-mentorship from experienced scholars and get to participate in scholarly discussions about K-pop in a supportive environment.

Applicants must have some knowledge of K-pop and should be able to write well in English. All positions are voluntary (non-paid).   All successful applicants undergo a one-month training and probationary period. Subsequent appointments are three months and may be renewed.

Interested? Complete the  2016 Application:

Upon receipt, we will contact you with a sample assignment to complete and return. Members of KPK senior staff will review your completed assignment and make a decision within one week (seven days).

KPK now recruits once a year, so this will be your ONLY opportunity to submit an application this year. 2016 RECRUITMENT ENDS JULY 15, 2016.

Want to know more about KPK? Click to find out more about KPK’s mission and its members.

Questions about the application process? Email Crystal S. Anderson, Director, KPK: Kpop Kollective (



Fault Lines in Transcultural Fandom

Stock photo from Pixabay
                                                                           Stock photo from Pixabay

A recent clash of opinions over the status of Kangin, a member of the Korean pop group Super Junior, exposes fault lines that can occur with transcultural fandoms.

SM Entertainment issued a statement about Kangin’s recent DUI accident.  Not satisfied with the common period of self-reflection that typically follows a scandal,  a group of Korean fans created a petition to have Kangin leave the group entirely. Citing Kangin’s previous drunk driving incident and other controversies, the fans argue that Kangin’s continued presence will damage the group’s reputation:   “We see this series of acts not benefiting Super Junior’s image and career at all. Instead we view them as actions that only cause damage. From our position as fans who support Super Junior, we cannot help but discuss this issue that will influence their image greatly” (soompi).    However, comments on soompi’s Facebook post for the story reveals criticism of those who support Kangin’s departure. This is typical of several posts:  “Not true fans of Super Junior, if they want Kangin to leave the group.”

Such opinions reveal fault lines in the fandom that fall along lines of national identity. The original petition was brought by members of the Korean community site DC Inside, which cannot be accessed by those outside of Korea. While all who support Kangin’s departure are not Korean, the non-fan and anti-fan characterization of those who do certainly applies to the Korean fans who created the petition. Such statements overlook the contextualization of these fans. Operating within Korean culture, they reveal the danger they see to the reputation to the group, which plays differently inside of Korea than it does outside of Korea.  Subtly, fans who criticize the Korean petitioners ignore the Korean context and unwittingly impose their own cultural expectations.

Bertha Chin and Lori Hitchcock Morimoto argue that transcultural fandom offers “the possibility that a fannish orientation may (at times) supersede national, regional and/or geographical boundaries” (99). This certainly describes times when the transcultural fandom is in agreement. However, controversies often reveal how national perspectives inform how fans interact with one another over a controversy. Fandoms contend with notions of authenticity generally, creating hierarchies to determine who is a “real” fan. However, a scandal seems to make these existing fault lines even more pronounced.

With no in-depth knowledge of the petitioners, some fans question their identity as real fans. This is particularly odd given the history of the E.L.Fs, or Everlasting Friends, the Super Junior fandom. These fans reportedly have a history of taking action surrounding the membership of the group. Reportedly, they protested at SM Entertainment when it appeared the agency planned to add additional members to the group. Others have suggested that E.L.F’s pooled their money to buy SM Entertainment stock to become stockholders and have a say in such decisions. Documentation of such events are difficult to locate, but such stories point to the tendency for this particular fandom to be deeply concerned about the membership of the group. Moreover, given that this is a Korean pop group, it is intriguing that fans largely outside of Korea would question the fan identity of the petitioners.


Adrian. “Some Fans ‘Abandon’ Kangin; Ask Him to Leave Super Junior.” hellokpop. 26 May 2016.

Chin, Bertha and Lori Hitchcock Morimoto. “Towards a Theory of Transcultural Fandom.” Participations: Journal of Audience & Reception Studies. 10.1 (2013): 92-108.

Soompi. “Do you think 슈퍼주니어(Super Junior)‘s Kangin should leave the group?” Facebook. 26 May 2016.

kokoberry. “SM Entertainment Releases Official Statement About Kangin’s DUI Accident.” soompi. 24 May 2016.

kokoberry. “Super Junior Fans Petition for Kangin to Leave Group.” soompi. 25 May 2016.