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The Dynamics of Knowledge Circulation

Cases from Korea

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Edited By Eun-Jeung Lee and Marion Eggert

The book is about the evolution and transformation of knowledge and knowledge systems in the context of cultural contact. The articles take Korea as an example and deal with the configuration, dissemination and consolidation of knowledge in certain contexts of the past and present. Combining philological and social scientific approaches, this book is the result of a joint research project of the Korean Studies institutes at Freie Universität Berlin and Ruhr University Bochum pursued between 2009 and 2014.

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Daniela Claus - Hallyu in Germany

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Daniela Claus

Hallyu in Germany

Abstract After succeeding in East Asia and due to the rapid growth of the internet, Hallyu has started to gain more attention in Western countries. Hallyu in Europe can be categorized as a subcultural phenomenon amongst teenagers and young adults in search of new and more exotic cultural goods. Though Hallyu has minimal impact on European pop culture itself, it bonds its devotees transnationally.

1. How is Hallyu, the Korean wave, perceived in Europe, and more specifically in Germany?

In summer 2012, the Korean singer Psy went viral with his song ‘Gangnam Style’ via the Internet video platform YouTube. This became the most watched YouTube video of all time by the end of 2012 (Jung Sun/Shim Doobo 2013: 10). Because of his huge success, Psy was internationally recognized as an artist and therefore invited to multiple talk shows1, the MTV Music Awards, and even the New York New Year’s eve event on 31st Dec. 2012, with thousands of people dancing the ‘horse dance’ – the song’s choreography and one of the most important factors of the song’s huge success – during his performance. A similar scene could be observed in Berlin hours earlier on the same day when ‘Gangnam Style’ was played at the New Year’s Eve party in front of the Brandenburg Gate (Rest 2012).

The Korean media treated Psy’s success as synonymous with the success of Hallyu, a neologism that was formed...

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