Global Digital Culture| Digital Platform as a Double-Edged Sword: How to Interpret Cultural Flows in the Platform Era
This article critically examines the main characteristics of cultural flows in the era of digital platforms. By focusing on the increasing role of digital platforms during the Korean Wave (referring to the rapid growth of local popular culture and its global penetration starting in the late 1990s), it first analyzes whether digital platforms as new outlets for popular culture have changed traditional notions of cultural flows—the forms of the export and import of popular culture mainly from Western countries to non-Western countries. Second, it maps out whether platform-driven cultural flows have resolved existing global imbalances in cultural flows. Third, it analyzes whether digital platforms themselves have intensified disparities between Western and non-Western countries. In other words, it interprets whether digital platforms have deepened asymmetrical power relations between a few Western countries (in particular, the United States) and non-Western countries.