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Home is Where You Serve: Globalization and Nationalism in Korean Popular Music
Unformatted Document Text:  2 representations, and immigrant lives in the era of globalization. Throughout a discussion about a popular singer in Korea, I will argue that the unique diasporic experience in popular music evokes a certain poetic sense as well as a material politics of identity positioning—in this case, nationalism. Also the nationalism is evoked not as a reactionary localism against globalization, but as an aggressive negotiation among economic, cultural and political interests. I will open my discussion with a theoretical review on the relationship between globalization/localization, identity and popular music. A case study with a close consideration of the concept ‘mobility’ will be followed to conclude this paper. GLOBALIZATION AND LOCALIZATION The term “globalization” has been popular since the approach of cultural imperialism started to lose its explanatory power in some cultural areas. Globalization has been defined in contradictory manners, sometimes as the opposite concept of cultural imperialism and sometimes as an extension of imperialism. For example, Tomlinson (1991: 175) suggests that the age of imperialism has been superseded by the age of globalization, which is "less coherent or culturally directed" than the former. On the other hand, Wallerstein sees globalization as "a capitalist mode of production to incorporate all areas of the globe within its economic boundaries" (Han, 1997). Criticizing both extremes, scholars from a variety of academic traditions have argued that global cultural discourses are mitigated by symbolic local practices, and the dynamics between global and local are not simple reflections of the power relationship between the so-called West and East. Thus, their formulations have shed light on hybrid

Authors: Lee, Hee-Eun.
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representations, and immigrant lives in the era of globalization. Throughout a discussion
about a popular singer in Korea, I will argue that the unique diasporic experience in
popular music evokes a certain poetic sense as well as a material politics of identity
positioning—in this case, nationalism. Also the nationalism is evoked not as a
reactionary localism against globalization, but as an aggressive negotiation among
economic, cultural and political interests. I will open my discussion with a theoretical
review on the relationship between globalization/localization, identity and popular music.
A case study with a close consideration of the concept ‘mobility’ will be followed to
conclude this paper.
GLOBALIZATION AND LOCALIZATION
The term “globalization” has been popular since the approach of cultural
imperialism started to lose its explanatory power in some cultural areas. Globalization
has been defined in contradictory manners, sometimes as the opposite concept of cultural
imperialism and sometimes as an extension of imperialism. For example, Tomlinson
(1991: 175) suggests that the age of imperialism has been superseded by the age of
globalization, which is "less coherent or culturally directed" than the former. On the other
hand, Wallerstein sees globalization as "a capitalist mode of production to incorporate all
areas of the globe within its economic boundaries" (Han, 1997).
Criticizing both extremes, scholars from a variety of academic traditions have
argued that global cultural discourses are mitigated by symbolic local practices, and the
dynamics between global and local are not simple reflections of the power relationship
between the so-called West and East. Thus, their formulations have shed light on hybrid


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