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In Search Of Soft Power: Korean Wave As Cultural Diplomacy
Korea has acquired soft power over the past few decades, attributed to the “Korean wave” also known as the Korean popular culture. Soft power is a concept utilized in international relations which means the ability of a state to get what it wants indirectly using cultural attraction rather than through forceful means. On the other hand, the Korean wave is characterized by various cultural elements such as television drama and movies, K-pop, dance, fashion, food, and language, just to mention a few. The Korean wave has found its way into many countries all over the world and significantly in Asia, America, and European countries, somehow becoming the country’s cultural diplomacy (Jang and Paik, 2012). Cultural diplomacy means using cultural resources to enable the goals of a foreign policy to be achieved. The aim of this paper is to explain how the Korean culture has leveraged their political and diplomatic positions on both international and national levels.  In other words, this paper discusses how the Korean wave as a cultural diplomacy that has positioned the nation as a soft power.
To start with, Korean TV shows (or small scale arrangement) have been an instrumental segment of Korean Wave. The show Dae Jang Geum given a chance to Korean shows, which had earned ubiquity in China, Japan, and Southeast Asia. Dae Jang Geum, otherwise called Jewel in the Palace, depends on a genuine verifiable figure and happens against the scenery of sixteenth century Chosen Korea. The story depicted the good and bad times of a stranded young lady who turns into the lord’s main doctor. The excellent dress of the Chosen regal court, the rebuilding efforts of Chosen design, and the vivid royal residence cooking started worldwide enthusiasm for Korean conventional culture. The data on Korean conventional drug fulfilled worldwide pattern toward a sound living. After the show was first broadcast in Taiwan in 2004, it delighted in high evaluations in Hong Kong and China, igniting a Dae Jang Geum fever in the Chinese-talking world (Jang and Paik, 2012). The show has so far been disclosed in many nations, including China, Vietnam, India, Turkey, Israel, Nigeria, Romania, Hungary, Bosnia, Russia, Sweden, Colombia, Peru, Canada, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand.
Korean shows are famous for different reasons in various nations. Americans discover Korean dramatizations unwinding and chipper and Europeans discover the plots uncomplicated and sentimental. Asians, in the interim, find ways of life and patterns they wish to copy. The Middle East discovers it the inconspicuous suppression of feelings and extraordinary sentimental energy without unmistakable sexuality. Muslim nations discover the dramatizations “safe”. Saudi Arabia’s monarchical government communicated Dae Jang Geum and Jumong which depicts Korea’s saint themed dramatization for underlining backing and faithfulness to the administration. While Asians appreciate the normal custom and “against every odd” topic in Korean authentic epic dramatizations, Western crowds like the invigorating cleverness, whimsical plots, and truthfulness, for example, “My Lovely Kim Sam-soon” and “Young men over Flowers” (Jang and Paik, 2012). Not at all like Latin American cleanser musical shows highlighting sexual and electrifying subjects and scenes, “My Lovely Kim Sam-soon” including sentimentalism and present day Cinderella storylines was circulated on significant telecom companies in Peru in its prime time nine o’clock space rather than the news.
The Korean Wave isn’t restricted to TV dramatizations. The new Korean Wave is principally driven by well-known Korean young lady symbol groups, for example, Girls’ age, Kara and Wonder Girls’. The Korean Wave in the recognizable Confucian-based qualities claims to Asians. Hong Kong based channel “V” started to include Korean Pop music recordings in the late 1990s. The achievement of H.O.T, Shinwha, NRG, and the young lady band Baby Vox in Hong Kong, Taiwan and China developed as the following focal point for popular culture (Jang and Paik, 2012). Female artist Boa began her profession in Japan and hit the main position multiple times in the Oricon Weekly Album as she turned into the principal female Korean vocalist to prevail in Japan. A standout amongst the best kid bunches Dong Bang Shinki turned into the primary ever outside specialists top the Oricon week after week single graph multiple times and setting a record for the most elevated ever deals on the principal seven day stretch of discharge. As per the Japanese recent developments week by week AERA, Korean gatherings ruled the Japanese music showcase as the “Korean intrusion” and contrasted K-pop and the British gathering the Beatles who commanded the American music advertise during the 1960s.
The New-Korean Wave is stick headed by the spread of the K-Pop. A fast development of informal community administrations, for example, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter has made it conceivable to grow the Korean Wave past Asia to Europe. Recordings of Girl’s Generation, gave on SM Entertainment’s YouTube channel are a standout amongst the most broadly downloaded recordings around the world (Jang and Paik, 2012). One of those recordings, “Well”, has been viewed 42 million times by watchers from everywhere throughout the world, including Thailand, the United States, Japan, and Europe. A live YouTube communicate of another collection by the venture group “GD and TOP” was observed at the same time by 390,000 individuals around the world. In the advanced age, when the world is associated by means of the web, the exertion and cost required to advance Korean culture has dropped significantly. While the Korean gathering the Wonder Girls broke onto the Billboard’s Top 100 per year sooner simply in the wake of going through a year performing in the United States, Big Bang’s fourth scaled down collection “This evening” came to No. 6 on the United States’ iTunes store, and the music video of its title track was watched one million times inside two days of being discharged on YouTube.
Besides, made “21 under 21: Music’s Hottest Minors 2011” in 2011, and Four Minutes Hyuna positioned seventeenth generally speaking. The Billboard website presented Hyuna as one of the key essences of the worldwide K-pop development. Music video of Hyuna’s “Air pocket Pop”, gave on You Tube channel, had been viewed 160 million times as of September, 2011 including the United States, England, France, and Australia. At Paris Conference, SM Entertainment organizer and maker Lee, Soo-Man depicted his organization’s technique as “culture innovation” and noticed that dissimilar to data innovation, culture innovation is progressively unpretentious and convoluted (Jang and Paik, 2012). This is because it basically works with undetectable resources and confounding HR and their development potential.
In addition, the spread of the Korean Wave has created various effects at the cross-national dimension, which affirms that the world isn’t level. Basically, the impacts of social combination are, on account of the Korean Wave, diverse crosswise over social orders and districts. For example, the Taiwanese allotment of Japanese and Korean societies has likewise made and advanced a crossover type of culture and utilization, however it didn’t deliver social homogenization or social self-sufficiency. In Malaysia, the Korean Wave has added to improving ideal pictures of Korea, expanding Malaysians’ enthusiasm for Korea’s general public and culture, for example, language and living (Jang and Paik, 2012). As verified by, “After the foundation of discretionary relations among China and Korea in 1992, the connection between the two nations grew rapidly. The two nations share shared opinion on some significant local issues, for example, the North Korean atomic emergency. They base this discretionary accord without anyone else interests. Since they share the normal experience of Japanese attack, they stay careful about Japan. What’s more, Korea is slowly separating itself from the United States and is progressively moving near China, which makes Chinese individuals increasingly OK with Korean culture.
Under Lee Presidency, the Korean government has put “complex strategy” and “esteem tact” the primary arrangement targets to improve social and open discretion alongside upgrading national picture and national brand. Specifically, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Presidential Council on Nation Branding have been looking to exploit the notoriety of the Korean Wave to advance Korean national intrigue and to upgrade Korean pictures in the world.3 In these backgrounds, the primary focal point of this paper is to analyze the pith of the Korean Wave and its effect on the world. Specifically, this paper means to investigate the connections between the spread of the Korean Wave and political and social changes in a worldwide viewpoint (Jang and Paik, 2012). That is, does the Korean Wave influence the political position and conciliatory influence of Korea in any important manner? Toward this target, this paper initially looks at the applicable writing of universal relations for strategy and culture change, particularly with respect to globalization, complex association, delicate power and world esteem change. At that point, ongoing improvements of the Korean Wave are inspected and basically broke down so as to learn political and approach suggestions for Korean conciliatory and viable mandates. At last, we will reach an interpretive inference and proposals toward the believability of the Korean Wave as an arrangement apparatus for Korea’s diplomacy.
The manner in which Korean social approach has managed the issue of social character, which has been a key test in the advancement of Korean social strategy. Subsequently, the issue of social character has influenced social arrangement as a huge reason for government appropriation and as a methods for directing the social division. All the while, the instrumental estimation of culture regarding financial advancement and social union has been pushed. Because of the impact of social patriotism, customary culture has been considered not just as the foundation of Korean social character yet additionally as an answer for the issue of social personality (Jang and Paik, 2012). Specifically, verifiable factors, for example, Japanese imperialism, ethnic division and the unpredictable assimilation of western culture have impacted social personality arrangement. Then again, the purposive development of social character dependent on conventional culture was assembled as a solid instrument for against socialism, state-drove financial improvement technique and the political authenticity of Park’s administration. Because of such an impact, from the underlying stage in the advancement of social arrangement, the instrumental estimation of culture has turned into a key method of reasoning of social approach.
Nonetheless, the accentuation on customary culture has confronted restrictions in a circumstance where conventional culture has lost its impact inferable from the inexorably half and half culture of contemporary society. Furthermore, expanding social trade during a time of globalization and the universal social industry war has likewise presented difficulties to holding and creating Korean the social character (Jang and Paik, 2012). In this regard, the extent of social approach for building social character has extended from social legacy and customary expressions amid the 1970s to contemporary expressions and the social existence of individuals amid the 180s to beginner expressions and pop culture and social enterprises amid the 1990s.
Then, social character arrangement has been set up not just as a methods for opposing social globalization, yet additionally as a device for globalizing national culture and expressions of the human experience. In accordance with this, from the 1990 onwards, likewise with the financial estimation of culture and expressions of the human experience, the recreation of social personality has given a critical justification to encouraging social businesses. Moreover, the legislature has focused on that the foundation of social character could be helpful for the global aggressiveness of household social ventures (Jang and Paik, 2012). This shows the issue of social personality has been bound up with the monetary methods of reasoning of government sponsorship to the social segment in the development of social arrangement. Then again, the accentuation on the development of social character has additionally given a basis to controlling society and expressions of the human experience. During the time spent doing as such, the normal for conventional culture dependent on Confucianism, state-drove patriotism, hostile to socialism and political and monetary reasons have gone about as criteria for guideline of the social segment. In any case, it ought to be noticed that deregulation has been continuously occurring with the development of social approach.
Overall, the deluge of Korean Wave all through the world has created different responses and effects. Our perceptions lead to the accompanying general end with respect to the attributes of the Korean Wave. To begin with, the Korean Wave is anything but a genuine ‘Korean’ wave, rather it is a crossover of the customary Korean societies and western societies, especially American. Social hybridization has happened as neighborhood social operators and entertainers communicate and consult with worldwide structures, utilizing them as assets through which Koreans build their very own social spaces. As such, the Korean Wave can be all the more accurately depicted as the Korean-mixture wave. Korean popular culture tempts groups of onlookers by consolidating the alluring pictures of Westernized innovation with simply the perfect measure of Asian wistfulness. This combination is at the base of the Korean Wave. Korea took progressed remote societies, united them onto its own, and delivered a propelled culture all its own. Truth be told, is the very quality of Korean culture. Having suited outside culture for an extensive stretch of time, we have procured incredible chronicled involvement of refining brought culture into our own.” Furthermore, Korean researchers acknowledge social hybridity for all the while advancing globalization and limitation of Korean popular culture in both the worldwide and neighborhood markets. Since the 1990s, Korean culture has turned out to be progressively globalized.
Jang, G. and Paik, W.K., 2012. Korean wave as tool for Korea’s new cultural diplomacy. Advances in Applied Sociology2(03), p.196- 202.