Of Transmutability of Hallyu:
Political Culture and Cultural Politics
The nationalist thrust of Hallyu has attracted rasping charges from in and around Korea. Yet the indictments often come as normative admonitions or hollow rants devoid of analytic credibility and interpretive rigor. The goal of this essay is to diagnose the nationalist urge emanating from Korea and ascertain how it in fact flies in the face of the transnationally diffused ownership of Hallyu. Vital to this goal is the conceptualization of Hallyu as a transnational cultural process, a paradigm that critiques the disseminationist idea of culture that places too much emphasis on content production. By framing Hallyu as a transnational cultural process, this essay looks into the “productive” role played by what has been normally referred to as consumers (or audiences, fans, users, so on) vis-à-vis that by contend producers based in Korea. It draws on various cases that demonstrate how the growing creative control of fans, enthusiasts, and users correlates with the pervasive use of social media.