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Hegemonic Mimicry

Hegemonic Mimicry

Korean Popular Culture of the Twenty-First Century

by Kyung Hyun Kim

Published by: Duke University Press Books

328 pages, 152.00 x 229.00 x 0.00 mm, 36 illustrations

  • ISBN: 9781478014492
  • Published: October 2021


In Hegemonic Mimicry, Kyung Hyun Kim considers the recent global success of Korean popular culture—the Korean wave of pop music, cinema, and television also known as hallyu—from a transnational and transcultural perspective. Using the concept of mimicry to think through hallyu's adaption of American sensibilities and genres, he shows how the commercialization of Korean popular culture has upended the familiar dynamic of major-to-minor cultural influence, enabling hallyu to become a dominant global cultural phenomenon. At the same time, its worldwide popularity has rendered its Korean-ness opaque. Kim argues that Korean cultural subjectivity over the past two decades, is one steeped in ethnic rather than national identity. Explaining how South Korea leapt over the linguistic and cultural walls surrounding a supposedly “minor” culture to achieve global ascendance, Kim positions K-pop, Korean cinema and television serials, and even electronics as transformative acts of reappropriation that have created a hegemonic global ethnic identity.