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Introduction

Introduction T H E G LO B AL IZ AT I O N O F K- P O P : LO C A L AN D TR AN S N AT I O NAL ARTI C U L ATI O N S O F  S O U T H KO R E A N P O P U L A R M U S I C JOHN LIE University of California, Berkeley The global pop-music sensation of 2012 was Psy’s “Gangnam Style.” I am not sure if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but the sheer proliferation of downloads and impersonations, copycat videos and parodic performances— the very constitution of virality—established K-pop (South Korean popular music) as a global pop culture phenomenon. Walking by a German-lan- guage school in my Northern California neighborhood, I, a middle-aged man of East Asian descent, am greeted by young expatriate German pupils rehashing the pony-gallop dance steps and the “oop-oop” of Psy’s hip-hop and techno-pop infused music. Visiting an elderly acquaintance in North Oxford, England, I discover that her declining cognitive faculty finds curi- ous recognition in any screen showing the ubiquitous music video-whether the small television showing “Coronation Street” or her CAT http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Cross-Currents: East Asian History and Culture Review University of Hawai'I Press

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © Research Institute of Korean Studies, Korea University
ISSN
2158-9666
eISSN
2158-9674

Abstract

T H E G LO B AL IZ AT I O N O F K- P O P : LO C A L AN D TR AN S N AT I O NAL ARTI C U L ATI O N S O F  S O U T H KO R E A N P O P U L A R M U S I C JOHN LIE University of California, Berkeley The global pop-music sensation of 2012 was Psy’s “Gangnam Style.” I am not sure if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but the sheer proliferation of downloads and impersonations, copycat videos and parodic performances— the very constitution of virality—established K-pop (South Korean popular music) as a global pop culture phenomenon. Walking by a German-lan- guage school in my Northern California neighborhood, I, a middle-aged man of East Asian descent, am greeted by young expatriate German pupils rehashing the pony-gallop dance steps and the “oop-oop” of Psy’s hip-hop and techno-pop infused music. Visiting an elderly acquaintance in North Oxford, England, I discover that her declining cognitive faculty finds curi- ous recognition in any screen showing the ubiquitous music video-whether the small television showing “Coronation Street” or her CAT

Journal

Cross-Currents: East Asian History and Culture ReviewUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Jul 3, 2014

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