International Journal of Communication Publishes a Special Section on Theorizing the Korean Wave

International Journal of Communication Publishes a Special Section on Theorizing the Korean Wave

Has the Korean Wave meaningfully changed the direction of cultural flows? Does the Korean Wave advance any tangible theoretical frameworks in media studies and Asian studies? Three decades after the emergence of the Korean Wave, many theoreticians and students are wondering whether Korea continues to develop popular culture, and therefore, whether Korean cultural content provides new conceptual and theoretical foundations in globalization and transnationalization studies. 

Guest-edited by Dal Yong Jin, this Special Section on Theorizing the Korean Wave aims to provide a space for discussions surrounding the possibilities for advancing non-Western theories or new perspectives amid the continuing Korean Wave, or Hallyu, phenomenon. As demonstrated by the popularity of Squid Game, Parasite, and BTS, the Korean Wave has become one of the most significant cultural scenes originating from the East. Against this backdrop, authors in this Special Section seek to shed light on current debates centered around the Korean Wave and place them in renewed perspectives that further future transnational cultural research. 

Written by 10 leading theoreticians and emerging media scholars located in various parts of the world, including the United States, Canada, Israel, Hong Kong, and South Korea, these papers investigate the recent surge of Hallyu from diverse perspectives, including transnationality, K-pop, Korean dramas, platform imperialism, gender and sexuality, and artificial intelligence. Together, they advance non-Western theoretical frameworks that media scholars and students learn and apply to their works. The Special Section provides new concepts, ideas, and knowledge that showcase the significant movements taking place in Hallyu research and point to directions for future studies. 

Together, the contributions to this Special Section provide new lenses to understand the increasing role of the Korean Wave in media studies, cultural studies, area studies, and gender studies.  

We invite you to read these articles that published in the International Journal of Communication on January 1, 2023. Please log into to read the papers of interest. We look forward to your feedback! 


Theorizing the Korean Wave: Introduction to New Perspectives—Introduction 
Dal Yong Jin

Transnational Proximity of the Korean Wave in the Global Cultural Sphere 
Dal Yong Jin

Shock and Surprise: Theorizing the Korean Wave Through Mediatized Emotions
Irina Lyan 

K(Q)ueer-Pop for Another World: Toward a Theorization of Gender and Sexuality in K-Pop
Jungmin Kwon 

Netflix and Platform Imperialism: How Netflix Alters the Ecology of the Korean TV Drama Industry
Ji Hoon Park, Kristin April Kim, Yongsuk Lee

K-Pop Without Koreans: Racial Imagination and Boundary Making in K-Pop
Ji-Hyun Ahn

Translational Audiences in the Age of Transnational K-Pop 
Kyong Yoon

Virtual Technology in Netflix K-Drama: Augmented Reality, Hologram, and Artificial Intelligence
Jinhee Park

K-Culture Without “K-“? The Paradoxical Nature of Producing Korean Television Toward a Sustainable Korean Wave 
Taeyoung Kim

Larry Gross, Editor
Kady Bell-Garcia, Managing Editor
Chi Zhang, Managing Editor, Special Sections
Dal Yong Jin, Guest Editor

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