K-pop – Korean Pop Culture

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The pop culture reveals to the culture of art, dance, music, fashion and all. Every country has its own and distinguish pop culture. K-pop is Korea’s renowned music pop culture. The book on Korea’s pop culture named: “The Birth of Korean Cool: How One Nation is Conquering

World through Pop Culture” is authorized by Euny Hong. In this book author wrote about every aspect from which Korea go through for capturing their popular culture. It also shows that how Korea develop its nation socially, technically and ethnically or aesthetically. As all the chapters in this book discuss the different phase of Korea in different culture. The most popular South Korean song is ‘Gangnam Style’ and this song is the only superpower for Korea with which they export the world’s best pop culture. In mid-1980s, Euny Hong migrate with her family from U.S to Gangnam (Korea). It’s anything but difficult to overlook that in 1965, South Korea’s per capita GDP was not as much as that of Ghana, and even not as much as that of North Korea. As of late as the 1970s, North and South Korea’s GDP were neck and neck however Today, South Korea is the world’s fifteenth biggest economy. This shows that Korea have lots of fluctuations in their economy, they also suffer poverty period. The economically changes in Korea was brought up by the ‘Industrial Revolution’. The author put reflection on world’s greatest, quickest cultural paradigm shift in contemporary history is “Hallyu”, which is the Korean wave of popular culture. Furthermore, assembling an advanced Internet foundation, South Korea is one of just a bunch of nations whose administration empties its very own cash into putting resources into its country’s new businesses. In 2012, government subsidizes comprised more than 25 percent of all funding cash dispensed in Korea. A stunning 33% of investment in Korea is spent on media outlets—more than on some other division.

According to the authors description this paragraph will describe the Korean culture before it became ‘Cool Korean Culture’. Author Hong describes that Korea was still a developing nation when she moved with her family in 1985 to Korea. To some degree moronically, the Korean government ensured that simply the best and most brilliant of its understudies were conceded leave visas. The way that the world has overlooked this is a demonstration of how successful Korea’s national marking technique has been. Among the expat network, the Korean gadgets organization Samsung used to be referred to as Samsuck. In the 6th grade, a partner asked me, “Is it genuine that in America, individuals consider you a ‘homo’ in the event that you clasp hands with your friends?” I needed to state yes. The writer saw that decline in same-sex handholding among children as South Korea got wealthy. In those days, mothballs were hung in the bathrooms for odor, but nowadays numerous Seoul toilets are electronic and make them clean highlights just as spouts that squirt water and flush and blow-dry. The immunizations were got from the school nurture, for instance, “we’d line up in order of student number, which was determined at the beginning of the year by height” (Hong, 2004). Similarly, schoolwide tests for intestinal parasites were led as well. At that point the instructor would remind us, “Please compose your name on the envelope before you put your crap in, on the grounds that you’ll see it hard to compose on it afterward” but this doesn’t happen in America, this was so, shocking for the author. While a long way from perfect, South Korea’s wellbeing conditions by 1985 were much better than they had been only a couple of years earlier. Even Korean’s were not permitted to wear outfits with any non-Korean lettering on them.

Apart of clothing there was also rules for hairs in Korea that they weren’t permitted to curl hair. If someone had normally wavy hair, they needed to have a specialist’s note to demonstrate it. Gender was still a sign of destiny. As in South Korea came up with great idea that students have to learn other foreign language in addition to English. But most of the high schools made rule that boys are supposed to learn French and girls are supposed to learn German and they not allowed to interchange their classes (Hong, 2004). Until as of late as 1991, South Korean ladies were not allowed to be the leader of the family, which means they couldn’t settle on lawful choices for the benefit of the family. In case of a separation, a spouse was not qualified for an equivalent division of property and kids were consequently admitted to the dad’s guardianship. Only two decades later, in December 2012, South Korea chose its first female president, Park Geun-hye.

Paradox is that extraordinary honor of rich countries; the finest sources of paradox live at the extremely peak of their humanity’s affluence and power, which allows them the leisure to become rational and compose. In South Korea the irony was assemble with the “Gangnam Style” and “Gentlemen” song, it makes nation’s decisive phase in its latest evolution. As per the writer’s arrival to Korea, Koreans didn’t have any irony. Moreover, Americans also said author that “Asians have no irony” (Hong, 2004). In the chapter second which is about the origin of paradox, author also light on the economic development in Korea during the period of late 1980s and early 1990s. The transformation in Seoul’s crowded place where all designer clothes were imitation to, wealthy as Psy’s “Gangnam Style” video shows. In 1987, every South Korean school student must give donation of 200 won for the project of ‘Peace Dam’. In addition to teachers force students to bring more donation than 200 won, otherwise they got punishment by hitting with stick. Gangnam was a not a good place to live in the 1980s and 1990s, it’s like wacky. To add up, schools have some other strict rules in that period such as students are not allowed to “wear watches exceeding 20,000 won in value or shoes that cost more than 9,000 won” (Hong, 2004). Moreover, parents couldn’t pick and drop their children to school in private car, if it happens then it became a debate topic. According to Korean law, personal instructors are excluded for teaching courses that are teach in school, as this shows indication of being rich. Korea had been organizing progressively ordinary, outstanding K-pop bands, similar to the nine-member girl group Girls’ Generation, who were already adored icon in Asia, because Psy was not indeed overcoming star of Korea. As in 2001, Psy captured with Marijuana and got arrested. In addition to in Korean ethics the violation is considered when students get low marks in school as it also shows disrespect of parents, this is one of Korean social unfairness.

Korean K-pop is very famous. As seventh chapter discuss about the music pop culture. The vital pop culture reviewer made a candid declaration in describing Korean K-pop that Koreans are not virtuous in imagination or creativity. According to Hung if Lee is right then the promise about rolling Korea into ‘creative economy’ by President Park Geun-hye’s can result in trouble, because Koreans creativity is not good. But apart of creativity Koreans are good in business such as in advertising, promotions, and packing. It describes that even in K-pop band Koreans don’t have their own Korean artists for instance, songwriters, dancers. They are inspired from European performances, for example, “K-pop boy bands TVXQ and Big Bang are Europop-influenced acts” (Hong, 2004). The reasons that Koreans don’t have their original bands or teams of pop culture and also for that they don’t have their original sounds (in music) is that the Korean pop scene got a poor start on account of restriction that smothered melodic ability and inventiveness. For a basic period during the 1970s, rock music was restricted in Korea. The result in boycott, the Korean pop solid didn’t ingest any impact from entire 1970s sound movement, including “classic rock, punk, glam rock, and heavy metal” (Hong, 2004). In 1972, Park reacted to the risk of attack any responsible ruler would: by restricting miniskirts, long hair on men, rock ‘n’ roll. That practically precluded mods, rockers, and radicals- approaching dangers to national security.

A tragic victim of the bans was Korean psychedelic rocker Shin Joong-hyun, sometimes called the “Godfather of Korean Rock” (Hong, 2004). Similarly, effectively every significant Korean pop vocalist from the 1950s to the 1980s, Shin figured out how to love to rock by tuning in to the American Powers Korea System (AFKN) radio communicates. Shin was most likely the last provisional Korean pop artist to be known outside his nation of origin. For instance his cover song that viral on social media was in “1970, his cover of Iron Butterfly’s “In A Gadda Da Vida,” a live performance that can be seen on YouTube, is a revelation, sung with more vibrancy than the original”(Hong, 2004). But later, Shin’s work also gets restricted because he refused to write the song for the Park’s government and then they (government) start suppress his songs. This issue goes longer until 1979. In addition to, Shin said that “he was tortured and put into a psychiatric hospital” (Hong, 2004). Author said that she feels for Shin as when she came to Korea in mid-1980s the music was quite different from K-pop that type of music was very rare even, it doesn’t relate with American pop. Korea had almost no melodic character for a significant part of the twentieth century. Even though in wars, Korean singers became entertainers for U.S. Army.

In the nutshell, of this Korean Pop Culture story, its hard to focus on each topic about which author discussed in the book. But still this book provides much knowledge about the success and history of Korean culture. This book has each topic related to Korean pop culture in deep. Author describes her experience within and after moving from America to Korea (Gangnam). She describes how she found some shocking incidents in the school life. This book also reflect on the economic development, social development or cultural development of Korea.


  1. Hong, E. (2004). The Birth of Korean Cool: How One Nation is Conquering the World through Pop Culture. Retrieved from https://b-ok.cc/book/2458185/61e1e5

Cite this paper

K-pop – Korean Pop Culture. (2020, Oct 31). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/k-pop-korean-pop-culture/



How is K-pop different from pop?
K-pop is a genre that originated in South Korea and features a blend of electronic, hip-hop, and pop music with choreographed dance routines, while pop music is a genre that originated in the United States and features a wide range of styles, including rock, hip-hop, and electronic music.
What culture does K-pop represent?
K-pop is a genre of music that originates from South Korea. K-pop represents the culture of South Korea and the music is often a mix of pop, hip-hop, and R&B.
What is K-pop and why is it popular?
K-pop is a genre of popular music originating in South Korea. It is characterized by a wide variety of audiovisual elements. K-pop is popular because it is a unique and exciting genre of music that often incorporates catchy hooks and impressive choreography.
Why is Korean pop culture so popular?
K-pop has become a truly global phenomenon thanks to its distinctive blend of addictive melodies, slick choreography and production values, and an endless parade of attractive South Korean performers who spend years in grueling studio systems learning to sing and dance in synchronized perfection.
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