Is K-Pop Sustainable? Tom Coyner by IPG’s Senior Adviser ~ The Korean Law Blog

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This article by Tom Coyner repeats many of the unfounded perceptions about international audiences of K-pop. While there is a discussion to be had about sexuality in K-pop, Coyner reduces that potential discussions with generalizations about fan motives regarding K-pop and a lack of familiarity with the K-pop fan scene.


While his observations about the role of sexiness in K-pop is dubious, what is outright incorrect is his assessment of American K-pop fans.  Leaning on his son’s “street perspective,” he suggests that “the Korean Wave is indeed big, but only in pockets where Koreans and other Asians concentrate. There are non-Asian ethnic American fans as well, but he noted that most non-Asian American Korean Wave fans are very good friends of Koreans and a surprising number have had or currently have ethnic Korean lovers.”


This is just wrong.  Not only are Asians not the only ones listening to K-pop, the major influences on K-pop come from a variety of musical genres in which there are few Asian participants: hip-hop and soul.  One can participate in a culture without being friends with Koreans or being in an intimate relationship with one.  

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