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Korean Pop Music and Youth Identity Essay


Music plays a significant role in every mainstream society. Many people associate themselves with various genres of music. Different music types are characterized by unique sub-cultural movements or values. Korean pop (K-pop) is a powerful genre that supports the values of many youths who want to be part of the wider global subculture. This essay begins by describing the targeted topic. The paper also discusses the group identity associated with K-pop music. The essay also uses powerful examples to describe how the identity of many Korean youths is associated with K-pop music.

Analysis of the Topic

Throughout the 1990s, many Korean youths wanted to develop their values. Such youths formulated their tastes and values. The targeted music for this essay is Korean popular (K-pop) music. Many Korean youths have embraced this kind of music because it portrays their positions in society. This group has been “using K-pop music as a sign of attachment with the outside world” (Jung 4). Many youths in the world are sharing similar values. Such youths engage in different activities that support the welfare of their friends and colleagues. They also oppose most of the values and traditional practices embraced by their parents. For example, many Korean parents have been cynical and unhappy with modernism (Jung 4). They have been encouraging their children to focus on different Korean dances and practices. However, such youths have been looking for a new identity. They have found this solution in K-pop music.

K-pop music presents new values and practices for these individuals. Social activism is a common practice associated with K-pop music. Many youths participate in different socio-cultural activities, “such as volunteering, fund-raising, and donations to charity” (Jung 17). According to such youths, K-pop music is a sign of liberation from traditional cultural practices. Many global youths are coming together in order to support new technological ideas. They are also addressing various malpractices such as racism and prejudice. Such misbehaviors are embraced by many parents. The youths have been searching for new identities in a world characterized by prejudice and bigotry. The internet encourages more youths across the globe to exchange their views.

Analysis of the Above Thesis Statement

K-pop music is embraced by many Koreans. However, K-pop is “characterized by different aspects of pop music such as beats, instruments, and cultural practices” (Jung 8). This kind of music also covers different subgenres such as metal, R&B, hip-hop, rock, and dance-pop. The integration of “different foreign elements and musical instruments have become common in the K-pop music industry” (Jung 11). These foreign elements and instruments portray the appreciation of various cultural practices. Many musicians and fans have established new networks with different individuals across the globe. This fact explains why K-pop has attracted many fans.

This kind of music presents positive values to many people in society. For instance, K-pop music brings many youths together. These youths analyze and address most of the challenges affecting their lives. They also come together in order to challenge most of the discourses in their societies. This effort “has led to different social actions” (Hernandez, 59).

The concept of cyber-vigilantism has emerged in order to deal with certain problems associated with globalization. Throughout the 2000s, many Korean youths interacted with their counterparts in different parts of the world. They formed a unique global subculture that ignored the practices and expectations of their parents. K-pop music has promoted the establishment of a hybrid culture. The connection between teen culture and K-pop music reveals many issues in different parts of the world. These youths embrace most of the values supported by other groups in the world. Such youths have detached themselves from their parent’s ideas. The individuals have managed “to form new identities” (Hernandez, 64).

K-pop music has made it easier for many Korean youths to negotiate their values in mainstream society. The youths have formulated their tastes and ideas. They have also redefined their positions in society. They have ignored most of the practices and concepts embraced by their parents. They have been looking forward to creating a new youth subculture that supports the best practices in the world. Some valuable practices have emerged because of this K-pop music. Some of these practices include “fan activism and cyber-vigilantism” (Jung 16). These practices are aimed at addressing most of the challenges affecting many individuals in society. The youths have been promoting various practices in order to formulate the best public opinions. Modern technologies have made K-pop music a powerful tool that supports the needs of many Korean youths.


Each subculture has its own ideas and concepts. Korean pop music has become a powerful genre that connects many youths to their counterparts in different parts of the world. K-pop portrays the identities of these Korean youths. These individuals embrace new values and virtues in order to help those in need. They have created a powerful movement that can transform the world. They have also been supporting positive activities that can fulfill the needs of many people in the world.

Works Cited

Hernandez, Deborah. “Race, Ethnicity and the Production of Latino Popular Music.” Global Repertoires. Ed. Andreas Gebesmair and Alfred Smudits. New York, NY: Ashgate, 2002. 57-72. Print.

Jung, Sun. “Fan Activism, Cyber-vigilantism, and Othering Mechanisms in K-Pop Fandom.” Transformative Works and Cultures 10.1 (2012): 1-28. Web.

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IvyPanda. "Korean Pop Music and Youth Identity." June 11, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/korean-pop-music-and-youth-identity/.


IvyPanda. 2020. "Korean Pop Music and Youth Identity." June 11, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/korean-pop-music-and-youth-identity/.


IvyPanda. (2020) 'Korean Pop Music and Youth Identity'. 11 June.

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