Let’s Call This Song Exactly What It Is: Defining K-pop

Crystal S. Anderson, PhD

Elon University

Everybody uses the term.  Some folks proudly embrace it; others run from it like the plague. But what is K-pop, and why is defining it important?

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An Informal Review of Sun Jung’s Korean Masculinities, Part 4, Or Who Are You Calling a Cult?

Source: http://www.imdb.com/media/rm2442313216/tt0364569

Crystal S. Anderson, PhD

Elon University

So now I’m going to tackle Sun Jung’s analysis of fan reaction to Chan-wook Park’s film, Oldboy.  Basically, Sun Jung argues that, well, I’ll let her explain it:

Chapter 4 focuses on Western cult fandom of the Korean genre film, Oldboy, and discusses how postmodern South Korean masculinitiy is reconstructed through the ambivalent desires of Western spectators based on the mixed practice of mugukjeok, and neo-Orientalism. This chapter explains how the Western desire for the Other is expressed, transformed, and redefined by consuming hybrid South Korean masculinity, as exemplified by the “savage but cool” Dae-Soo, and how this transformed desire, “with a distinctly postmodern slant,” is different from earlier Orientalist desires towards the primitive Other. . . . Hence, Western audiences of Oldboy experience hybrid “time between dog and wolf,” which refers to the time when they cannot identify whether Dae-Soo is a “cool” friend or a savage stranger. (31-2)

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An Informal Review of Sun Jung’s “Korean Masculinities”: Part 3, Misplaced Chinese Literary Metaphors and the Shower Show

All right, time to talk about Rain and Sun Jung‘s treatment of the Almighty Godfather of Modern Kpop. I will try my best to point out both the good and the bad in this chapter, but unfortunately there is a lot more of the bad than the good. Let’s begin.

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An Informal Review of Sun Jung’s “Korean Masculinities”: Part 2, or Why We’re Not Going to Talk about Bae Yong Joon

Crystal S. Anderson, PhD

Elon University

So, Nabi has given you a pretty good overview of the book and our general observations of it. Chapter 2 includes Sun Jung’s reading of the masculinity represented by Bae Yong Joon. We here at KPK have pretty strong opinions because most of the time, we are fairly confident in what we’re talking about.  This is the reason why I’m not going to talk about Sun Jung’s analysis of Bae Yong Joon. I haven’t seen Winter Sonata, so I can’t tell say anything about her reading of the way “middle-aged Japanese women” (her phrase) read Bae Yong Joon’s masculinity.

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An Informal Review of Sun Jung’s “Korean Masculinities”: Part 1

Don’t get too excited: this book may have a very, very sexy picture of Rain on the cover, but it’s a trap. Published in 2011 by the Hong Kong University Press, Sun Jung‘s Korean Masculinities and Transcultural Consumption: Yonsama, Rain, Oldboy, K-Pop Idols has been talked about quite a lot in the academic field of Cultural Studies. People have claimed that it’s the most informative book on Hallyu out there at the moment.

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