The Exportation of Culture in South Korea Builds Economy
From Korean Pop stars to dramas, South Korea has it going on. It seems that there is not one Asian country that has not had the Korean Wave, a Chinese term given to South Korea referring to the exportation of their culture, completely wash over it. What started as an Asian sensation, the Korean Wave is now beginning to spread globally, ranking South Korea as one of the top countries known for its exportation of culture. Between music, television, and video games, South Korea’s economy is rapidly increasing as the world continues to fall in love with its entertainment industry.
Korean Pop Music
A mixture of western and eastern music, ...view middle of the document...
According to my interview with Tim Kang, this perspective comes from the focus of respect in South Korea and other Asian countries. Kang said, “For someone to gain respect, they have to work toward gaining that respect. Sometimes it just becomes an obsession” (Kang, 2014).
In the music industry, it is the exact same way, if not even more obsessive. Companies like SM Entertainment require their artists to pour years into training in every type of entertainment from singing to dancing. After back breaking work, the entertainment companies group the artists into a band that fits perfectly together. Not only must their performance be perfect, but there are personality and fashion requirements as well. Each artist must give everything for their dreams to become a Korean Pop star to come true (Duke University, 2014).
The only problem with these high expectations is the reward, or lack thereof, that the artists get out of this sweat and blood. Some say that companies are taking advantage of these young artists seeking fame by having them sign extended contracts they do not understand, that are too long and restrictive of their rights. Dong Bang Shin Ki, a famous Korean Pop group, actually brought their company to court for having them sign a thirteen-year contract. The result of this case was the Fair Trade Commission, which has helped to enforce laws to protect the rights of artists. Other problems with companies are the low pay that many of the artists are receiving for their work. Due to the high prices to produce the perfection of the Korean Pop world and the difficulty that has arisen to make money off of music, there are many complications in covering all of the costs, often leaving little money left for the performers (Lucy Williamson, 2011).
Growth in Economy
The digital world has created a challenge for companies and artists to make up for the costs of producing their music. Most sites only sell the songs for a couple of cents, hardly making up for the millions that go into producing. A solution has been found, however through merchandise and shows. Advertisement and concerts have helped tremendously with covering costs, especially in countries like Japan. For this reason, the entertainment companies hope to continue to spread their foreign markets, including the market in the west (Lucy Williamson, 2011).
Another factor to growing the economy through Korean Pop has been through tourism. Though South Korea struggled through 2012, due to Psy’s Gangnam Style, a record of tourist visited South Korea, boosting the revenue to a new level. Tourism continues to grow as Korean Pop spreads globally, though many of the tourists are from Asian countries, especially China (Rajeshni Naidu-Ghelani, 2013).
Korean Dramas, or Soap Operas, have been spreading throughout the world since the 1990s, introducing Korean Culture worldwide and building bonds with its neighboring countries. It all began in 1996 when the South Korean government...