Have you ever seen the Rain? And who’ll stop the Rain?: the globalizing project of Korean pop (K-pop)
This paper explores the globalizing project of Korean pop, focusing on the case of pop star Rain, who attempted to make inroads into the US market around the mid- to late 2000s. As the background of the project, the 'system' (or 'cultures of production') of the Korean music industry will be examined, including why and how it transforms itself into multi-purpose star management and how it has been making de-nationalized transnational stars. Then, the different reactions from the media and fans to Korean pop stars who crossed the border into a different geocultural market are critically assessed. By doing so, this paper tries to engage in debates about the interrelations between globalization and regionalization in the case of recent Asian popular music.
Keywords: K-pop; Korean Wave; Asian pop; globalization; regionalization
Shin Hyunjoon is HK (Humanities Korea) Professor in the Institute for East Asian studies (IEAS) at Sunkonghoe University. He received his PhD from the Economics Department of Seoul National University with a thesis on the transformation of Korean music industry in the globalization age. His research interests include popular music, popular culture, cultural industries and cultural policy. In 2008, he taught at Leiden University (in the Netherlands) as a visiting professor.