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Home is Where You Serve: Globalization and Nationalism in Korean Popular Music
Unformatted Document Text:  19 this politics of identity is well captured in an article from a Korean newspaper, which read “some day, Yoo might be able to come back to the Korean stage with a work visa, presenting unchanged singing and dancing talent. Even so, many Koreans are not likely to be fascinated by his masculine and candid attitudes any more” (Korea Times, February 3, 2002) CONCLUSION With his multicultural background, which was sought more than ever in Korean entertainment industry, Yoo not only enjoyed popular success, but also provided a new sense of identity. At a glance he epitomized a newly celebrated identity in the globalization era until a critical moment suddenly intervened and things became different stories. Despite the globalization of media and cultural products, communication systems and political systems are still national in many significant respects. National boundaries collapse on one front only to be built stronger in another, reconfiguring modernist expression of power. Then, why is the nationality of a singer so important in defining what Korean music is? Appadurai (1991) points out that “the locality becomes a fetish which disguises the globally dispersed forces that actually drive the production process.” In popular music, this fetishism on locality comes as a process that involves all musical styles and genres that are anchored to a place of origin. Indeed there is no ‘fixed locality’, but fetishism of locality (Mitchell, 1996). This fetishism on locality is represented as an odd form and style in Korean popular music. Because almost every element of music and visual is dependent upon global trends, it is often emphasized that the unique structure of

Authors: Lee, Hee-Eun.
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19
this politics of identity is well captured in an article from a Korean newspaper, which
read “some day, Yoo might be able to come back to the Korean stage with a work visa,
presenting unchanged singing and dancing talent. Even so, many Koreans are not likely
to be fascinated by his masculine and candid attitudes any more” (Korea Times, February
3, 2002)
CONCLUSION
With his multicultural background, which was sought more than ever in Korean
entertainment industry, Yoo not only enjoyed popular success, but also provided a new
sense of identity. At a glance he epitomized a newly celebrated identity in the
globalization era until a critical moment suddenly intervened and things became different
stories. Despite the globalization of media and cultural products, communication systems
and political systems are still national in many significant respects. National boundaries
collapse on one front only to be built stronger in another, reconfiguring modernist
expression of power.
Then, why is the nationality of a singer so important in defining what Korean
music is? Appadurai (1991) points out that “the locality becomes a fetish which disguises
the globally dispersed forces that actually drive the production process.” In popular
music, this fetishism on locality comes as a process that involves all musical styles and
genres that are anchored to a place of origin. Indeed there is no ‘fixed locality’, but
fetishism of locality (Mitchell, 1996). This fetishism on locality is represented as an odd
form and style in Korean popular music. Because almost every element of music and
visual is dependent upon global trends, it is often emphasized that the unique structure of


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