The Benefits of the Research Blog

While some academics may be skeptical about the intellectual value of using a blog as part of their research, I have found that it has numerous benefits. Some academics look down on blogging for research because it is goes against the conventional wisdom that the only things that matter in scholarship are peer-reviewed production: journal…

Pure Love f(x): Feminisms and K-pop Girl Groups

K-pop girl groups tend to be described as sexy, fierce or cute.  Some suggest that images of fierceness encourage girls to be empowered, while images of cuteness take away their agency.  However, responses by fans of f(x), a K-pop female group, suggest that fans prefer unique and diverse images of women. Male groups outnumber female groups…

K-pop Fandom 101

Many know that K-pop fans play an active role in K-pop, but few may know just how complex K-pop fandoms are. What is a Fandom? The Oxford English Dictionary defines fandom as “the world of enthusiasts for some amusement or for some artist.”  Fandom refers to a collection of fans of the general pursuit or to a…

Bring The Boys Out!: Fan Attitudes on Male Kpop Groups Differ

Some people think that male K-pop groups are all the same. However, research suggests that fans differ in their attitudes towards individual male K-pop groups. Responses collected from fans of Super Junior and BigBang reveal that they also hold different opinions on their music and group dynamic.  Such responses suggest that while some do not distinguish between male K-pop…

Ethnicity, Glamour and Image in Korean Popular Music

The 1960s girl group concept makes regular appearances in K-pop.  While some think that this kind of image represents a lack of ethnic identity in a quest for mainstream acceptance, I suggest that the 1960s girl group image promoted by women of color represents an ethnic glamour aesthetic. Contemporary K-pop is driven by image as…

Whose Generation? GIRLS’ GENERATION!: Gender, Audience and K-pop

As the number of female groups increase in number in K-pop, commentators and scholars continue to focus on the meaning of the representations produced by these groups. While some argue that such representations are geared towards men, this ignores the way the majority female fanbases of these groups construct meaning of these representations. Because female groups,…

Shine On: Glamour, Image and K-pop

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 products are seen, collected and exchanged by fans.  Not just…

Don’t Call It A Comeback: Old School K-pop and Its Fans

Often believed to appeal only to teenagers, K-pop is experiencing a trend with old school groups making successful comebacks. Some believe that K-pop has a short shelf life.  Several point to the “five-year curse,” a trend where male K-pop groups break up or disband, often in the face of mandatory military service in Korea. Others…

Like Vs. Love: Research Reveals Degrees of Attachment Among K-pop Fans

K-pop is well-known for the introduction of new groups, even while established groups continue to thrive. But are fans fickle in their K-pop choices? Do they abandon older groups for newer groups? Research suggests that while K-pop fans readily accept new groups, they have a deeper connection with veteran groups. These conclusions are based on data…