K-pop, Indonesian fandom, and social media
Keywords:Cultural circulation, Ethnographic research, Facebook, Fan communities, Global cultural economy, Online youth culture, Twitter
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.
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