Research Study on the Reception of Korean Popular Culture in the United States

Project Description

The phenomenon of the Korean Wave, namely the growing popularity of K-pop, Korean dramas, Korean films, and Korean television variety shows around the world, has received much media and scholarly attention and has given rise to Hallyu studies.  What is missing and needs systematic investigation is a careful empirical examination of the reception of Korean popular culture in the United States, arguably the most difficult media market to penetrate for non-Western cultural products. In this very first empirical study on the spread of Korean popular culture in the United States, we seek to examine the factors behind the appeal of Korean pop culture across racially and ethnically diverse groups of Americans. The question of how Americans of diverse racial backgrounds come to form their views of and attitudes toward Korea and Korean culture, and how these change through engagement with global cultural products like South Korean popular culture is of utmost significance since interest in and appreciation for Korean pop culture can promote cosmopolitan outlooks that help break down national and cultural barriers. Through in-depth interviews with Hallyu fans, the study seeks to delineate the ways by which Korean pop culture is disseminated, consumed, and negotiated as well as the short- and long-term impacts of engagement for fans of the Korean Wave.


For questions or more information about the study, please, contact:

  • Dae Young Kim, Department of Sociology and Anthropology,
  • Byunghwan Son, Global Affairs Program,
  • Young A. Jung, Department of Modern and Classical Languages,


Fans of Hallyu Wanted for Research Study:

In-depth Interviews

We are seeking fans from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds to learn about their experience with Korean popular culture. The interview should take about an hour to complete and will be conducted via Zoom. If you are 16 and older and would like to participate in the study, please contact us at the email above.  Thank you.