Hallyu across the Asian Continent: Building New Silk Roads through Popular Culture

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Research on the global diffusion of South Korean popular culture, or Hallyu, is generally characterized by a strong focus on the consumption and practice of Hallyu in different parts of the world and its discursive and cultural meaning. Very few studies, however, have examined the possible geopolitical consequences of the massive transfer of Hallyu-related commodities and practices. Focusing on the circulation of Hallyu in the Middle East, this paper analyzes the mechanisms for cultural spread and its intended and unintended consequences, with particular emphasis on the role of fans and fandom in this process. This paper suggests that the transnational circulation of Hallyu has an impact not only on the institutional aspect of transnational relationships, e.g., the creation of transnational cultural markets and the consequential collaboration between all pertinent parties involved in this process (companies, agents, promoters, distributors, retailers, fans, and others) but also on the dissemination of lifestyle commonalities and concepts, which are based on the experience of consuming the same cultural products by different people in different countries.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)111-130
Number of pages20
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2023


  • fandom
  • geopolitics
  • Hallyu
  • Korean wave
  • soft power
  • transnational culture

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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