Asianizing K-pop: production, consumption and identification patterns among Thai youth / Ubonrat SIRIYUVASAK and SHIN Hyunjoon
¡¥Asian Pop¡¦ cultural products that include a wide range of media artifacts like film, music, television drama, comic books, magazines, websites and fashion, has emerged as a popular choice for youth in Asia in recent times. These cultural artifacts feature prominently in the lives of urban youth in major metropolitan centres throughout Asia.This paper examines how Thai youths have become consumers of Korean pop (K-pop), following the trend of neighboring countries. The popularization of Japanese pop (J-pop), Taiwanese-pop and more recently, K-pop, is welcomed by the Cultural Industry as a sign of expanding borders and as a major step towards expanding its Asian market. On the one hand, growing consumption and mainstreaming of Asian pop might become problematic due to the notion of cultural MacDonaldization / standardization, in the future. On the other hand, perhaps nationalism and national ties will manage to overrule this projected standardization. This paper, explores the Thai youth¡¦s consumption of K-pop in the process of cultural appropriation vis-à-vis their ¡¥national¡¦ cultural formation in changing socio-cultural contexts
Ubonrat Siriyuvasak is Associate Professor in mass communication, Faculty of Communication Arts, Chulalongkorn University. She was UNESCO Chair in Freedom of Expression, a joint project between UNESCO and Chulalongkorn University in 2003-2004. Her research areas are communication rights, media reform and popular culture. Her research articles include, ¡§People¡¦s media and communication rights in Indonesia and the Philippines¡¨ (Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, 6:2, June, 2005), "Popular culture and youth consumption: Modernity, identity and social transformation" (in Koichi Iwabuchi (ed.) Feeling Asian Modernities: Transnational Consumption of Japanese TV Dramas, 2004), "On democratizing the broadcast media for Santi Prachatham" (in Santi Pracha Dhamma : Essays in honour of the late Puey Ungphakorn, 2001). She is the author of The Political Economy of Thai Radio and Television System and Its Impact on the Rights and Freedom of Expressions (1999) (in Thai).
Contact address: Faculty of Communication Arts, Chulalongkorn University
Phyatai Rd., Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Shin Hyunjoon is a research professor in Institute for East Asian studies in Sunkonghoe University . He received his Ph.D. from the Department of Economics at Seoul National University. His dissertation work is on the transformation of Korean music industry in globalization age. His research interest includes youth identity, popular culture, cultural industries and cultural policy. Besides his academic career, he has worked as a critic-cum-journalist on popular music and popular culture in general and has published many books (in Korean) on those themes, including Global, Local and Music Industry in Korea (2001), An Archaeology of Korean Pop Music: 1960s~70s (2005).
Contact address: Institute for East Asian Studies, Sungkonghoe University, Hang-dong 1-1, Guro-gu, Seoul 152-716, Korea