Global Production, Circulation, and Consumption of Gangnam Style

SooKeung Jung, Hongmei Li


This essay examines the cultural production, circulation, and consumption of the Korean music video Gangnam Style in the broader context of globalization. We conduct a chronological analysis of its distribution, production, and reproduction on YouTube, focusing on the interactions between traditional and new players in reinforcing and creating new meanings. We argue that the phenomenal success of Gangnam Style is due to the dynamic interplay of traditional and new media outlets, the active participation of global audiences, the video’s spreadable hooks, a laissez-faire copyright policy, and the musician PSY’s marketing strategies.


K-pop, Gangnam Style, YouTube, audience participation, globalization, global culture

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