K-pop as a Popular Culture

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Living in a period characterized by a diverse, addictive, and ever-evolving change in culture and entertainment, America is a country formed by the sphere of popular culture. The term “”popular culture”” was coined in the 19th century and represents a blend of ideas, images, attitudes, and perspectives that characterize a given culture. The categories of popular culture can range from the mass media to technology, music, fashion, and entertainment (such as music, movies, video games).

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As music and people’s taste change every year, pop culture is continuously evolving. In recent years, a type of pop culture that has began to influence the western world and America is Korean music, shorten as K-pop. This rise of K-pop music and korean dramas is currently the trend that is followed by the mainstream population.

Music, movies, and news in the mass media plays an important role in American social life. In recent years, Kpop is continually dominating social media, influencing people’s lives for the better. In an article written by Joanna Chen, tittled, “How K-pop has changed lives for the better”, it states, “Not all K-pop songs follow the typical ‘love song’ format, there are a fair share of uplifting and motivational tracks with important messages, and for some, these messages provide a great deal of comfort during difficult times” (Sbs). Despite the language barrier, Kpop is a genre of music that provides hopeful and uplifting messages, allowing individuals to escape from stress experienced in the daily life. In addition, it provides a platform that allows individuals to build a sense of community and common interest. While there are hundreds of groups produced yearly, BTS was the first K-Pop group to ever perform on a major American award show (AMA). Being the first to break a cultural barriers, social stereotypes and obstacles for Asians in the American industry, BTS not only made another historical moment in Hallyu–the Korean cultural, but they further used their platform to spread powerful messages through their songs.

In their songs such as “DNA”, “No More Dream”, “RUN”, and “Spring day”, it delivers powerful messages portrayed by the themes of hope, youth, falling in love to darker topics such as social injustice, mental health, and hardships which are unusual themes in conservative cultures such as South Korea. In their song “Baepsae / Silver Spoon”, BTS calls out the social division and hierarchical conflict in Korea. In an article titled, “How BTS Changed The World For The Better” by Sunwoo Park, it analyzes the meaning of the term when it states, “The spoon class theory ranks people into four groups of “spoons” — gold, silver, bronze, dirt — according to their financial status” (Snackfever). By using lyrics such as, “”What ‘spoon’ are you, to say that? Why do you label me,

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