K-pop in Latin America: Transcultural Fandom and Digital Mediation

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K-pop in Latin America: Transcultural Fandom and Digital Mediation


K-pop is a subculture and through digital means, develops into a transcultural fandom that results in its incorporation into Latin American mass culture. By providing a critical examination of “K-pop fan activism,” the article examines the transcultural nature of K-pop fandom, providing a “more holistic approach to the study of the Korean Wave.” It also goes beyond the reception of K-pop in East Asia to focus on Latin America. The article uses interviews, surveys and fan blogs to analyze K-pop fandom in Latin America.

Previous studies focus on transnational appeal and visual and aural qualities. This article focuses on “digital fandom practices.” The articles holistic approach draws on Appadurai’s 91996) “disjunctive ‘ethnoscape, technoscape,’ and mediascape’ of globalization” (2251).  

Transcultural fandom is the means by which Latin American fans of K-pop develop their fan identity and fans become “cultural emissaries” and enact a fan activism. The ties between Latin America and South Korea comes from historical ties dating back to the 1900s, the increase in Korean migration, and the development of Korean business opportunities and part of cultural diplomacy that also includes the use of various distribution platforms. The digital plays a significant role in K-pop fan activities in Latin America, made unique by the investment in the Korean cultural context of K-pop, adapting “to new cultural practices to recognize and validate themselves as transcultural fans” (2259).   Moreover, K-pop occasionally emerges in the mainstream culture and makes use of officially recognized distribution channels and media. 


Benjamin Han


International Journal of Communication, vol. 11, 2017, pp. 2250-2269.


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Benjamin Han, K-pop in Latin America: Transcultural Fandom and Digital Mediation

Cite As

Benjamin Han, “K-pop in Latin America: Transcultural Fandom and Digital Mediation,” Public Circulation, accessed May 26, 2022, https://annobiblio.omeka.net/items/show/10.

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