K-pop, Indonesian fandom, and social media

Sun Jung

Abstract


Around the world, pop consumers are increasingly accessing popular products through social media. Online fan groups of Korean popular music (K-pop) in Asia have dynamically and transculturally circulated their product through social media such as Facebook and Twitter. In October 2010, Super Junior, a K-pop idol boy band, was ranked as the number one worldwide trending topic on Twitter—ranking even higher than a sensational news story about trapped Chilean miners. Regional fans in Indonesia in particular have been identified as the source of a spike in tweets on this topic. Such a phenomenon illustrates how social media–empowered online fandom enhances cultural flow and affects transcultural pop circulation dynamics. I examine these dynamics by means of the specific case study of K-pop fandom in Indonesia. By focusing on three specific aspects of new media circulation of K-pop in Indonesia—performing immediate transculturations, embodying K-pop, and building intimacies—I contextualize transnationally focused, newly emerging, and social media–deployed cultural circulation driven by online fan practices.

Keywords


Cultural circulation; Ethnographic research; Facebook; Fan communities; Global cultural economy; Online youth culture; Twitter

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3983/twc.2011.0289

License URL: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Transformative Works and Cultures (TWC), ISSN 1941-2258, is an online-only Gold Open Access publication of the nonprofit Organization for Transformative Works. TWC is a member of DOAJ. Contact the Editor with questions.