The participatory American K-pop fan - a study of culture and 'glocalization'

Author/Creator ORCID




Towson University. Department of Mass Communication


Citation of Original Publication




This critical cultural analysis draws on existing cultural artefacts created by Korean pop (K-pop) fans of group Bangtan Sonyeondan (BTS) in the United States. Specifically, this study examines the unique participatory fandom culture (Jenkins, et al., 2006) of K-pop fans and how this fandom exists in current culture scholarship, including Hofstede’s cultural dimensions, glocalization, cultural amnesia, the current understanding of the transnational K-pop fan and orientalism or cultural appropriation. BTS is examined as a case analysis because of their unprecedented success in the United States, as well as their dedicated and massive transnational fan base. Cultural artefacts examined in this study are juxtaposed mass media articles and Tweets discussing BTS’s hit-single, Dynamite, the group’s first all English song. This study contributes to a more current understanding of K-pop fans, how they interact with glocalization in their participatory culture and how they negotiate culture while consuming a different country’s cultural products.