Working on a research paper or article on K-pop? Unfamiliar with Korean popular culture? don’t know where to start? Ask KPK about a Research Consultation!
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.
Questions about the application process? Email Crystal S. Anderson, Director, KPK: Kpop Kollective (firstname.lastname@example.org).
UPDATE! 2016 KPK GLOBAL RECRUITMENT IS NOW CLOSED!! SEE YOU NEXT YEAR!
Doing DH Library-Style
Knoxville, TN • February 19-20, 2015
Kaetrena Davis Kendrick, M.S.L.S. • University of South Carolina Lancaster
This panel session reviews the meaning of Digital Humanities within the Library and Information Science framework, explores how the discipline is being applied in library settings, and demonstrates how DH projects support and serve library users and other stakeholders. Kendrick’s portion of the session will delve into pedagogical applications (information literacy support), research and instruction collaborations with other teaching faculty members, and other opportunities for leadership using DH tools and applications. More here.
iFans: Mapping K-pop’s International Fandom is a digital project that examines the attitudes, practices and creative output of global K-pop fans. VIPs (as fans of BigBang are called) were given the opportunity to participate in an online interview with questions geared toward their experience as BigBang fans. Whale, a VIP, … Continue reading IFANS PROJECT UPDATE: Online Interview with BigBang Fan
Visuals are an important part of K-pop, and understanding them is crucial to understanding the meaning of K-pop and its spread globally. In addition to music videos, images that accompany promotions for music releases, photo shoots featured in magazines and endorsements for an array of … Continue reading Shine On: Glamour, Image and K-pop
As part of the ongoing project that is iFans: Mapping K-pop’s International Fandom, I have been working on the fan responses to Case Studies surveys. Click here to read about what 2NE1 fans think about the group’s significance in K-pop as well as an in-depth interview with a BlackJack!
As you know, iFans: Mapping Kpop’s International Fandom is a study seeking to understand the attitudes of global fans of K-pop’s most successful groups. You can now view the results of the analysis of the survey data and an email interview with a fan of SNSD! Click here to view the What Fans Think section of the digital exhibit. Sad that you aren’t included? You can always take the email survey online here! C’mon, SONES, you are one of the biggest K-pop fandoms out there! Click the link and represent!
The Saturday Mini Survey (SMS) is a two-question survey based on current events in K-pop. It allows fans to see research results on K-pop a little bit faster. Today’s SMS is on collaborations in K-pop. Click on the link to take the survey!
Crystal S. Anderson, PhD
Anybody can ask some questions about your favorite K-pop group but scholarship involves a lot more. Enter the glamorous(?) world of K-pop fan research!
What is research?
That’s a good question. Most K-pop fans have taken polls asking for their opinion, but these are usually for market research or for fun. Academic research is different. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines research as “a systematic investigation, including research development, testing and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge.” There is a method to the madness, so the first thing that research involves is knowing the method. Some people work with quantitative methods (i.e. statistics), but I use qualitative methods (examining text in the form of responses and interviews) to explain what K-pop fans think about K-pop. In either case, you need to know what you are doing, and while a degree isn’t required, it helps. But long before the questions go up, you need a healthy dose of curiosity.
The Bright Idea
Some people look at K-pop and think nothing of it. However, I, as a researcher, wonder: Why do fans like K-pop? How do they support their groups? What do they get out of being a fan? As K-pop becomes more popular, news media and online commentators talk more and more about it. They find the whole phenomenon strange and make assumptions. For example, outlets like CNN talk about the groups and fans that support them as if they are all the same.
As a K-pop fan, though, I know those observations do not match what I see among K-pop fans. From my experience, I know that the groups are different. SHINee and Shinhwa may both be male groups, but they are different. I know the fandoms are different. Shawols are not like Shinhwa Changjos.
In addition, these outlets never talk about fan culture. I know that fans of SS501 know why Park Jung Min and Kim Hyung Joon are called Tom and Jerry. Shinhwa fans know who Mama Bird and Baby Bird are in the group. SHinee fans know what Onew Sangtae is. K-pop fandoms are wonderfully complicated so I wanted to explore how the fandoms are different and how they interact with one another, since they are a central part of the global spread of fandom.
But first, I needed to find out what had already been written on K-pop fans.
What Others Say
Research differs from opinion polls in that part of its purpose is to contribute to new knowledge. There is no need to do a research project if it’s already been done. You don’t want to look like a boob saying something that’s already been said. I found that there were a few studies on K-pop fans, but they focused on K-pop fans in East Asian countries, and they didn’t address the unique nature of individual fandoms (see Sung Jung, Korean Masculinities and Transcultural Consumption: Yonsama, Rain, Oldboy, K-pop Idols). For example, Shu-han Chiou did research for a master’s thesis which identified fans as “devotee, insider, intermediate of devotee-insider, and low-consumption-and-self-centered.” No K-pop fan talks about themselves that way. You are a A+ (fan of MBLAQ) or a SONE (fan of SNSD). People also form online fan communities that support multiple groups, like DongBangBLAQ (fans of TVXQ and MBLAQ), f(snsd) (fans of f(x) and SNSD), TripleKISS (fans of SS501 and UKISS) and SuperGeneration (fans of Super Junior and SNSD).
Once I got the lay of the scholarly land, it was time to develop the study!
Just Do It!
The iFans project was born! I developed a series of surveys where fans could talk about their perspectives about being a fan and promoted them on the KPK site as well as social media such as Twitter and Facebook.
Then, I waited. In order to study the data, you have to collect the data and you need to collect enough data to form valid conclusions. You wait for people to share the survey with their friends (hint, hint). In this way, part of the research is beyond your control.
You also may have to tweak your survey instrument. Sometimes a link doesn’t work. Sometimes you see you can get information in a more effective way, like providing text boxes for answers rather than having respondents list answers in just one big text box.
At some point, you get enough data to work with. Analyzing the data is the most unglamorous part of research, but it’s also the most exciting. It means reading each and every response and finding patterns in what people say. For example, the iFans general Case Studies survey had over 300 respondents, but generated hundreds of statements to analyze.
By systematically analyzing the data, I get to see what K-pop fans think about themselves, other fandoms and the artists themselves. I can now say things based on evidence about K-pop fans. As a result of my research I know, for example, that no matter the fandom, fans are fans of groups because of the music. I know that fans of SS501 like the group because of the brotherhood they show, and that fans of SNSD like the group because they are cute and dorky.
So, this is why it takes so long! If you’ve taken one of the longer surveys, you’re probably wondering where your answers are. Some of them make up the infographics you’ve been seeing on the site. Other responses are in the research reports. Still others will be the basis of articles and chapters for academic journals and books. In all cases, analyzing and writing up the reports takes time because of the large amount of response involved.
So, I’ve created the SMS: Saturday Mini Survey. This two-question survey is based on current events in K-pop so that fans can get research on K-pop a little bit faster. Be on the lookout for it!
“Code of Federal Regulations.” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/humansubjects/guidance/45cfr46.html
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