K-pop female idols

Culture industry, neoliberal social policy, and governmentality in Korea

Authored by: Gooyong Kim

The Routledge Handbook of Global Cultural Policy

Print publication date:  September  2017
Online publication date:  September  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138857827
eBook ISBN: 9781315718408
Adobe ISBN:


 Download Chapter



South Korea (hereafter, Korea) rapidly achieved its economic modernization in less than four decades (1960s–1980s), a phenomenon commonly known as the Miracle on the Han River. This dynamic development has brought about the recent global popularity of Korean popular culture such as film, TV dramas, popular music (K-pop), and live performances coined as Hallyu or the Korean Wave. For Katsiaficas (2012), along with democratic uprisings against military juntas in the ’70s and the ’80s, Hallyu has become a symbol for Korea’s competent advancement to a more civil and sophisticated country. Historically, owing to the devastated economic, social, and political conditions after the Japanese colonial occupation and the Korean War, the state’s cultural policies have been instrumental in helping realize the government’s political, economic, social, and/ or ideological agendas (Yim 2002). For example, President Park Chung-hee, who seized power through a military coup in 1961, made full use of Confucian cultural policies that emphasized obedience, diligence, loyalty, frugality, and cooperation in order to implement export-oriented, labor-intensive industrialization, which provided the illicit political elite with a rationale for developmental-dictatorship in the poverty-trodden country.

Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.