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Reappropriating Desires in Neoliberal Societies through KPop


This project analyzes contemporary KPop as a commercial cultural production and as a business model that emerged as the South Korean state�s U.S-aligned neoliberal project. This thesis focuses on Kpop's functions as an ideological, political, and economic apparatus serving the production and reproduction of desires in the emergence of various sub-cultures at disparate sites across the globe. Legacies of colonialism, neocolonialism, and (late) capitalist developments sanctioned the conditions for this particular form of mass and popular culture, making KPop a commercial commodity for contestations of appropriation and reappropriation by those in power and those in the margins. By examining the institutionalized and systematic new media platforms and internet technologies that enable new forms of globalized interactions with mass culture in general and KPop in particular, the thesis locates how resistant and alternative (sub) cultures emerge in variable conditions and locations. Through newly found mediums online, emerging cultural formations challenge and negotiate the conditions of commercial and dominant systems, allowing various and localized subaltern (secondary) cultural identities to decenter, disrupt, and instigate KPop and its neoliberal governance, to reorient and reappropriate them in the process as well.

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