K-Pop and Latin America: Trying to understand the impact of Hallyu 2.0 in Argentina, Mexico and Brazil

Neves, Mauro
Luso-Brazilian Studies

Before trying to find the existence or not of patterns in the consuming of K-Pop in Latin America, it is necessary to define what is in general called Hallyu, and what could be seen as its phase 2.0. Then, it is crucial to explain the role played by K-Pop in this phase of evolution as well as the importance of K-Pop as a way of making the Hallyu phenomenon persist.

Since this phase of evolution of the Hallyu phenomenon is concentrated on two aspects, the social media and the performance competition, my analysis takes as primary sources internet sites and fan blogs from three Latin American countries: Argentina, Brazil and Mexico.

Through this analysis, it is possible to discover the ways Latin American fans got in touch with K-Pop, and it is also possible to try to define some patterns of incorporation of K-Pop into their lives.

It is also important trying to find the connection between the Korean immigration to these countries and the expansion of Hallyu in the region as well as the role played by the South Korean government under the concept of soft power.

Then it is possible to reflect on the reasons for Latin American fans to have become connected to K-Pop, and if K-Pop can cope with getting strong enough roots in the region to keep competing in the market with American pop and Latin American pop in general.

  Through the research conducted, using as primary sources social media networks and performance competitions, but also taking into account the Korean diaspora influence and some actions taken by the South Korean government, it has become possible to confirm that K-Pop is now a part of some Latin American daily lives. It is also possible to say that one of the patterns for the consuming of K-Pop in Latin America is definitely the communication with other fans and with the artists themselves through sites, blogs and SNS. The other important way of consuming K-Pop in the region would be by taking part in performance competitions, be them national, regional or international, with the strongest purpose of being able to visit South Korea and to have access to the world of K-Pop directly.

  But it is also important to see as one of the patterns for consuming K-Pop in the region the appropriation of K-Pop into the fans own culture through the producing of cover and parody versions of K-Pop songs and their dissemination through social media networks and visual content sites. Considering these patterns, it is possible to see that the consuming of K-pop in Latin America is not a one-way process, but a process of transculturation and appropriation of K-Pop.

 Presented at CELAO 2016 Conference, Wellington, New Zealand, 7-9 December, 2016

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