K-Pop

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Synonyms: Kpop
See also: Hallyu, Minihompy, Netizen
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Contents

K-pop refers to South Korean pop music.

K-pop has an active RPF fandom. While there are many popular solo singers (Rain and Lee Hyori are just two examples), most fannish activity surrounds various boy bands and girlgroups.

The Industry

There is a different entertainment culture in Korea, where stars are expected to do as their entertainment companies and contracts stipulate. This has resulted in some pretty bad behavior on behalf of the entertainment groups when they demand too much of their talent, but on the flip-side it creates a "family-like" atmosphere within entertainment groups, which provide artists with training, support and security. As long as everyone works together and respects the social hierarchical rules, everything will be fine. [1]

English-speaking fandom

Music rotation communities are an important part of K-pop fandom. Although albums by Korean artists can be purchased online through stores such as YesAsia, popular Korean-language music is not widely accessible outside of speciality stores. Music rotation communities (normally located on Livejournal) are maintained by a single person or a small team of uploaders who share albums (and music videos) by K-pop artists.

While fanfic is written about various popular K-pop groups (see, for instance, DBSK), fanfic doesn't dominate the overall fandom. Fans with a knowledge of Korean translate music videos, interviews, TV appearances, and blog entries. Fans also share news and gossip about their favourite celebrities on Livejournal communities and forums.

Fic Timeline

The kpop fanfiction history blog Time Vault divides the history of kpop fanfiction (in English?) into the following eras:[2]

Korean-speaking fandom

Fans in Korea are well-organized, and powerful: "There's a real sense of ownership and loyalty, and it ties these idols to their fans, up to a really weird degree. A lot of Korean boybands say "cutesy" things like "I'm married to my fans" or "my girlfriend is [[[fanclub]] name]."" [3]

The kpop industry is one driven by the internet. So you can say that netizens and technology are what create news and drive the market. Netizens are also very opinionated and have no problem to voice their concerns and at some points shame the media. So the media is very wary of them, and must be as convincing as possible when publishing news, in regards to entertainment and artists. A lot of the time, netizens are the ones that make the news and are not easily fooled. [4]

Fan groups can act as powerful pressure groups when they feel it is in the interest of their idols. SM Entertainment, YG Entertainment, and JYP--three of Korea's major management agencies--have liaisons who work exclusively with fan clubs. Changing demographics may play a role in the increased power of fan clubs. Fan club activities include protecting stars' rights, charitable activities, and promotion. [5]

Popular artists also gain anti-fans: "An anti-fan is a person who ‘hates’ a particular celebrity or icon. Anti-fanclubs, also known as virtual communities of disregard, hate listings and diss-share sites are groupings of such anti-fans." [6]

[Example of fan activity, positive and negative. Super Junior fan suicide, DBSK poisoning, SNSD shunning, etc. See this fail_fandom anon thread for examples and links. Another FFA link.]

Popular K-pop groups

Resources

Notes

  1. Blackface on South Korean TV Show (Accessed July 28, 2010)
  2. Kpop fic history] on Time Vault. Posted January, 5, 2011. (Accessed May 17, 2011.)
  3. Comment by fivil on Musing on the bizarre "can't date anyone ever" star phenomenon in Asian entertainment. (Accessed July 30, 2009)
  4. The Ugly Truth of Kpop, SM, and the Taesu Scandal! (Accessed July 30, 2009).
  5. Fan clubs grow into forces of nature; mirrored at Omona They Didn't (Accessed May 6, 2010)
  6. What's the deal with anit-fans? The dark side of Kpop's fan culture (Accessed July 30, 2009)
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