Concurrent Panel Session Four

Abstract Title

The Woman in the Mirror: The Empowerment of South Korean Women Through K-Pop

Start Date

7-4-2018 10:30 AM

End Date

7-4-2018 11:20 AM

Abstract

Viewed through a western lens, the South Korean K-Pop industry, specifically K-Pop girl groups, are often viewed as a means for over-sexualization and objectification of Korean women. Ranking 116th out of 144 countries in equality for women, it would be easy to agree with this assessment. Yet an amazing trend is taking place with the young women of this nation. Rather than recognize these groups as a form of female exploitation, female fans see their idols as women who have embraced the choice to become something more than what tradition dictates. Through an internet culture, this overwhelmingly large female fan base is upending the traditional male gaze by viewing these stars as strong, empowered women and understanding that the woman in the mirror is just as strong and empowered as her idol. In the K-Pop industry itself, the song lyrics of some girl groups are signifying change by tackling the male gaze directly and challenging the patriarchal values that have consistently defined South Korean society. Recent, significant drops in marriage and birth rates reflect the emergence of a generation of women who reject the traditional roles of wife and mother to stake their claim in a competitive job market. In analyzing the effects that K-Pop girl groups are having upon many young Korean women, it is easy to recognize these K-Pop idols as an empowering influence that challenges the traditional gender defined borders and roles in South Korean society.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Apr 7th, 10:30 AM Apr 7th, 11:20 AM

The Woman in the Mirror: The Empowerment of South Korean Women Through K-Pop

Viewed through a western lens, the South Korean K-Pop industry, specifically K-Pop girl groups, are often viewed as a means for over-sexualization and objectification of Korean women. Ranking 116th out of 144 countries in equality for women, it would be easy to agree with this assessment. Yet an amazing trend is taking place with the young women of this nation. Rather than recognize these groups as a form of female exploitation, female fans see their idols as women who have embraced the choice to become something more than what tradition dictates. Through an internet culture, this overwhelmingly large female fan base is upending the traditional male gaze by viewing these stars as strong, empowered women and understanding that the woman in the mirror is just as strong and empowered as her idol. In the K-Pop industry itself, the song lyrics of some girl groups are signifying change by tackling the male gaze directly and challenging the patriarchal values that have consistently defined South Korean society. Recent, significant drops in marriage and birth rates reflect the emergence of a generation of women who reject the traditional roles of wife and mother to stake their claim in a competitive job market. In analyzing the effects that K-Pop girl groups are having upon many young Korean women, it is easy to recognize these K-Pop idols as an empowering influence that challenges the traditional gender defined borders and roles in South Korean society.