K-Pop’s rising global popularity is often touted as the success story of a once peripheral country rising to challenge Western societies’ cultural hegemony. However, is K-Pop really an industry overcoming and challenging the West’s power structures and deep-rooted Orientalist stereotypes, or rather operating within them? I would argue that due to the embedded nature of Orientalist stereotypes, K-Pop is inevitably largely interpreted and used by Americans in a way which serves to support and perpetuate their Orientalist world views of Western hegemony and superiority, in contrast to Korean otherness. Additionally many entertainment companies within the K-Pop industry are frequently complicit in this orientalization, purposefully perpetuating Orientalist tropes as a way into American markets.
University of Puget Sound
Orientalism, K-Pop, Music Industry
Digital Commons Discipline