K-Pop Idols & Hybridization in the Postcolonial South Korea: A multimodal analysis of cultural hybridity in BTS music video ‘Idol’

University essay from Malmö universitet/Kultur och samhälle

Abstract: Despite a wide range of research studies on K-Pop and South Korean popular culture, music videos have yet to be in focus. This present study aims to explore and examine BTS’s ‘Idol’ music video due to its richness and relevance for an analysis of cultural hybridity. Theoretical frameworks of postcolonial theory and theory of representation have been chosen to approach the empirical material. The research design is qualitative using multimodal analytical tools including the principles of code-switching to unfold the functions of the bilingual lyrics, and visual analysis to read the images that can demonstrate cultural hybridity. The findings show the different ways in which the representation of K-Pop idols can demonstrate cultural hybridity in postcolonial South Korea where the process of establishing a new identity disrupts the normative traditions and values. These K-Pop idols are expected to represent South Korea but also manufactured to cater to the global audiences.

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