K-Pop Orientalism: US Cultural Imperialism in Korean Popular Music from 1954 to 2018

  • Author / Creator
    San Diego, Alexandra Louise Fabian
  • This project examines how Orientalism has impacted the U.S. and South Korea relationship in a sociocultural context, the history of Korean and Asian people in the U.S., and how these relationships affect the creation, production, and American reception of K-pop. It posits that Orientalist representations within American media produce and perpetuate problematic myths about K-Pop which impact Korean media production and do not alleviate ethnic stereotyping of Asian people and orientalist sentiments against them in the West. Orientalist discourse is found to have persisted into the modern and contemporary age thus impacting the cultural production of Korea and in particular, Korean popular music. I aim to elucidate that by including Asian-American discourse, a discourse that ruptures the binary of East-West or Orient-Occident frameworks, we can have a more transversal understanding of the creation, production, and American reception of Korean pop culture that ruptures the Orientalist logic of “difference”. As this thesis poises itself to uncover orientalist representations and realities as well as highlight the role of Asian and Korean-Americans throughout the history of the sociocultural relationship between the U.S. and South Korea, the structure of this thesis attempts to articulate a history of K-Pop— starting from 1954 and ending in 2018.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2021
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.