BTS’s Pandemic Hits and Their Implications: Discursive Re-vitalization of Neoliberal Hegemony in K-pop Industry

Gooyong Kim


This study critically examines whether BTS poses counterhegemony to the dominant Western popular culture as the literature claims. Investigating its recent hit music videos during the COVID-19 pandemic, I claim that BTS resuscitates the neoliberal hegemony in its seemingly empowering, positive messages and helps revive narratives of neoliberal biopolitics. Reviewing how hegemony becomes naturalized by cultural and psychological measures in broader political economic contexts, I reveal how BTS’s positive messages in bright audio-visuality relegitimize neoliberal mantras that help manage the crisis.


BTS, neoliberal culture industry, cultural hegemony, governmentality, socially conscious marketing

Full Text: