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Media Studies and the Contemporary
  • ISSN: 1756-4921
  • E-ISSN: 1756-493X

Abstract

In this article, I attempt to understand the global K-pop fandom among young women, from the perspective of non-metropolitan locations like the state of Kerala in southern India. I examine the ‘sub-visible’ nature of K-pop fandom and situate it in relation to existing discourses surrounding visibility in youth subcultures and fan cultures, both in India and the West. I argue that the key to understanding this fandom is in the cultural process of feminization that it produces – a feminization of male K-pop idols through the ‘free labour’ (to use a concept by Tiziana Terranova) that K-pop fans engage in on digital spaces – labour that has the structure of work and the function of enjoyment and enthusiasm. Drawing on existing discourses on the ‘feminine’, I analyse the peculiar mode of feminization in K-pop fandom as a response to the precarity and vulnerability experienced by young people in the contemporary world.

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2023-07-11
2024-07-12
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/content/journals/10.1386/safm_00068_1
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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): digital culture; feminization; free labour; Hallyu; Kerala; youth culture
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