Global Artform or Local Phenomenon? Demystifying K-Pop’s International Appeal



Joon Nak Choi, 2015 Koret Fellow, Korea Program, APARC, Stanford

Date and Time

January 29, 2016 12:00 PM - 1:15 PM



RSVP required by 5PM January 27.


Philippines Conference Room
Encina Hall, Third Floor, Central, C330
616 Jane Stanford Way, Stanford, CA 94305

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Why has Korean pop music (K-Pop) become so popular overseas? A wide variety of explanations have been proposed by academics, journalists and the fans themselves, ranging from superior training and product quality to the strategic usage of social media. Although some of these explanations have become widely-cited especially in the Korean media, whether or not they are actually correct remains largely unknown. To demystify why K-Pop has gained a following overseas, this study examines data on K-Pop concert booking overseas, from 2011 through 2014. The findings highlight the importance of cultural proximity, while casting doubt upon several other widely-cited explanations.

Joon Nak Choi is the 2015-2016 Koret Fellow in the Korea Program at Stanford's Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (APARC). A Stanford graduate and sociologist by training, Choi is an assistant professor at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. His research and teaching areas include economic development, social networks, organizational theory, and global and transnational sociology, within the Korean context. He recently coauthored Global Talent: Skilled Labor as Social Capital in Korea which he developed the manuscript from 2010-11 while he was a William Perry postdoctoral fellow at APARC.

This event is made possible through the generous support of the Koret Foundation.

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