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Volume 3, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2046-6692
  • E-ISSN: 2046-6706



This article examines how Korean pop (K-pop) idol fans develop their public image through the construction of participatory culture. K-pop idol fans, mostly teenaged girls, have long-provoked criticism in Korean society due to their fanatic behaviours. In the late 2000s, however, the transnational popularity of K-pop idol groups encouraged the public to reconsider the negative stereotype of K-pop idol fandom. This social atmosphere is indebted to news journalism, which sheds light on the contribution of fan communities in the K-pop music industry. Donation activities are one of the main items that journalists focus on in covering idol fan communities. Through an analysis of news articles, this article argues that Korean idol fandom strategically employs donation activities in order to reshape stereotypes about idol fandom, reconnect with the public and redefine the notion of idol fandom in Korean society.


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