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K-pop diplomacy - South Korea’s soft power goes Gangnam Style.


Stashed in: Celebrities, Politics!, Korea, YouTube!, Call me maybe., KPop JPop, Brad Pitt!, Angelina Jolie

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The South Korean entertainment wave has crashed onto the global scene with the song "Gangnam Style". Set in a ritzy Seoul neighbourhood, the video has been seen by some as satire and a commentary on South Korean materialism. In less than two months, more than 95 million have clicked on the Youtube music video, making it the biggest hit in K-Pop, or Korean pop, history.

The video’s viral success parallels the rise of South Korean soft power: exports of video games, TV shows and music have doubled since 1999. As the influence of “Gangnam Style” grows, is it being used for political soft power?

In this episode of The Stream, we speak to Sukjong Hong (@hongriver), Writer for Open City Magazine; Esther Oh, Online News Editor at CJ Entertainment and Media; and Simon and Martina Stawski, Founders of @EatYourKimchi.

Thanks for posting this.

I'm curious what you really think -- could it be used for political soft power?

Or is it just a song like "Call Me Maybe" that's catchy but doesn't have more significance?

I would defer to the content on the show, in general though - media, control of information of any sort can be used for gain by concerned parties. It is the hope that with multiplicity of opinion that people chose the best information - and if they view the "soft power" as negative then people would tune it out and create their own content.

I actually think this is a great use of soft power.

Celebrities have an opportunity to use their opportunity for good.

An example is Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt.

They've said that if cameras are going to follow them anyway, those cameras may as well ocument what's happening in Africa.

True, established players in media like them can do that - with the enablement via the long tail we have now I would hope that smaller players can (and they do) have in impact but on a more consistent basis. We are just at the beginning of the media revolution, I want to see what is next!

I want to see what's next, too.

And thanks to YouTube, Twitter, and blogs, anyone who has something to say can now share it with the whole world.

I love that.

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