The Korean Wave and Media Exchange in Global Culture Industry

Park, Sung-Woo. 2020. The Korean Wave and Media Exchange in Global Culture Industry. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

The Korean Wave, or ‘Hallyu,’ is a curious topic for cultural researchers. Though South Korean popular culture, TV Dramas and music have been widely consumed in East Asia since the 1990's, the 2012 hit ‘Gangnam Style’ garnered unprecedented global popularity and success, much to the surprise of East Asian academics. What is causing the widespread growth of Hallyu, and what does this continued growth mean in a world influenced by a dominant Western culture?

This study attempts to explain the success of Hallyu through the perspective of ‘cultural topology (Lash, 2012),’ which takes a more abstract approach by assuming that culture and cultural entities are inherently amorphous. Though many scholars have tried to explain Hallyu through different lenses of cultural and economic studies, the understanding of culture's constant change granted by cultural topology is key to understanding Hallyu and its relationship with its consumers. Ultimately, this study concludes that Hallyu and its products are symbiotically changed by its consumers and the media environment, and Hallyu, in turn, shapes these actors as well in a process called ‘gift-exchange.’

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):


Cultural Studies, Korean Wave, Media Exchange, Bernard Stiegler, Global Culture Industry

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies


31 May 2020

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

14 Jun 2021 08:52

Last Modified:

07 Sep 2022 17:18


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