Korean Wave| The Korean Wave: Retrospect and Prospect ― Introduction

Dal Yong Jin, Tae-jin Yoon


The Korean Wave (hallyu in Korean) marks a historical point and celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2017. The Korean Wave primarily started with a few well-made television dramas that were popular in East Asia, and the local cultural industries have advanced several cultural forms, including K-pop and digital games, which have gradually penetrated global markets. This Special Section focuses on the origin of the Korean Wave, and the articles emphasize either theoretical challenges in hallyu studies or empirical cases of hallyu in various areas of the world. The primary purpose of this Special Section is to explore the history of the Korean Wave as a catalyst of regional and global change by analyzing the evolution, structure, mechanisms, and strategies employed by the music, television, film, digital games, and animation industries in the global markets and their shifting relationships with the state. As the foundational basis for the articles in this Special Section, our goal in this introduction is to provide several key dimensions of the Korean Wave to help readers understand the nature of the emerging local popular culture and digital technologies as a new trend.


Korean Wave, transnational popular culture, cultural flows, hallyu, globalization, digital technologies

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