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Home is Where You Serve: Globalization and Nationalism in Korean Popular Music
Unformatted Document Text:  15 boundary-crossing media exchanges, the successful production and consumption of his music and image as cultural products was not a striking result. So-called global repertories (or international repertoires) no longer represent the culture of a certain country but are fed by different sources. To gain support from international departments, local repertoires (or domestic repertoires) also have to fit their standards, which include a recognizably melodic structure, the ballad form, a voice without accent and a globally comprehensive image. In this sense, local repertoire does not necessarily mean that this music sounds unlike global repertoire (Gebesmair, 1992). The popularity and success of diasporic musicians such as Yoo represent the collapse of space and time, which captures the core characteristic of globalization. When I showed a clip of Yoo’s music video to my American students who were in their juniors and seniors in college, they were just amazed how much the video looked ‘globalized,’ or in their words, ‘Americanized.’ Maybe those reactions were based on the essentialist concept of ‘Korean-ness,’ which my students had difficulties to find out from the music video. However, for majority of youth in Korea nowadays would not necessarily consider Yoo’s image as Westernized or non-Korean. American students see English rap, hip-hop fashion, and the entire image of music video as non-Korean, which for them is American. The same representations, however, do not necessarily mean ‘American’ for many young Korean audiences who can easily identify with the music and visual representations. It may sound ironical, but because those young people did not pay attention to the political and cultural identities of Yoo from his music and image, they were even more upset when Yoo officially announced his choice of American citizenship. In the beginning these confusions, debates and angers were spread out just like other entertainment buzzes. But

Authors: Lee, Hee-Eun.
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15
boundary-crossing media exchanges, the successful production and consumption of his
music and image as cultural products was not a striking result. So-called global
repertories (or international repertoires) no longer represent the culture of a certain
country but are fed by different sources. To gain support from international departments,
local repertoires (or domestic repertoires) also have to fit their standards, which include a
recognizably melodic structure, the ballad form, a voice without accent and a globally
comprehensive image. In this sense, local repertoire does not necessarily mean that this
music sounds unlike global repertoire (Gebesmair, 1992).
The popularity and success of diasporic musicians such as Yoo represent the
collapse of space and time, which captures the core characteristic of globalization. When
I showed a clip of Yoo’s music video to my American students who were in their juniors
and seniors in college, they were just amazed how much the video looked ‘globalized,’ or
in their words, ‘Americanized.’ Maybe those reactions were based on the essentialist
concept of ‘Korean-ness,’ which my students had difficulties to find out from the music
video. However, for majority of youth in Korea nowadays would not necessarily consider
Yoo’s image as Westernized or non-Korean. American students see English rap, hip-hop
fashion, and the entire image of music video as non-Korean, which for them is American.
The same representations, however, do not necessarily mean ‘American’ for many young
Korean audiences who can easily identify with the music and visual representations. It
may sound ironical, but because those young people did not pay attention to the political
and cultural identities of Yoo from his music and image, they were even more upset when
Yoo officially announced his choice of American citizenship. In the beginning these
confusions, debates and angers were spread out just like other entertainment buzzes. But


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