GLSD0101 Understanding South Korea Through K-POP and K-Drama









Course Code GLSD0101  
Course Title Understanding South Korea Through K-POP and K-Drama
Class Date 13, 15, 16, 17, 18 and 19 August 2022  
Class Time 1:00pm – 3:30pm
Teaching Mode Online with live lessons
(Face-to-face sessions may be arranged if the COVID-19 pandemic subsides in Hong Kong later)
Teacher Mr. CHUNG Lok-wai Steve

Assistant Lecturer
Global Studies Programme
Faculty of Social Science
The Chinese University of Hong Kong



  More about Faculty of Social Science, CUHK

  1. CUHK Social Science Broadbased Undergraduate Admission
  2. Why CUHK & Social Science Broad-based?
  3. The Future of Social Science
Medium of Instruction Cantonese
Course Description Korean popular culture, or widely known as “Hallyu”, has become one of the most energetic and iconic cultural phenomena in many parts of Asia and beyond in the two decades. This is introductory course on Korean pop culture, starts with introducing this phenomenon of Hallyu in East Asia followed by its expansion beyond the region. Government role behind the growth of Korean pop culture will also be discussed. By taking an interdisciplinary approach to the topic, we will study K-POP Music and Korea Drama and elaborate how they participate in between the regional and global production, distribution and circulation of this culture in the second part. Several recent and hot Korean idols groups and dramas will be adopted as examples to further the cultural debates.
Lecture 1: Introduction to Hally and its Expansion

Lecture 2: The Role of Government in the Development of Hallyu

Lecture 3: How K-POP Idols and Music are Trained and Developed?

Lecture 4: “Without Social Media there is no K-POP”: Case study of BTS and ARMY

Lecture 5: Transformation of K-Drama Production: From TV Stations to Netflix

Lecture 6: Korean Drama and its Socio-Cultural Meaning: Case study of “Crash Landing on You”

Learning Outcomes By the end of the course, student will be able to

  1. Identify the transformation and current content trends of the Korean popular culture.
  2. Analyze the causes and outcomes of the Korean wave
  3. Understand the role of government in cultivating this Hallyu phenomenon
  4. Recognize the importance of critical thinking skills for analysing the transnational media content and effects in a global, cultural context.
Recommended Reading(s) / Reference(s)
  1. Do Kyun Kim and Min-Sun Kim. 2011. Hallyu: Influence of Korean Popular Culture in Asia and Beyond. Seoul: Seoul National University Press
  2. Valentina Marinescu. (ed). 2014. The Global Impact of South Korean Popular Culture: Hallyu Unbound. Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books
  3. Kyung Hyun Kim and Youngmin Choe (eds.) 2014. The Korean Popular Culture Reader. Durham: Duke University Press
  4. Youna Kim (ed). 2013. The Korean Wave: Korean Media Go Global. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge
  5. Kyung Hyun Kim. 2011. Virtual Hallyu: Korean Cinema of the Global Era. Durham [N.C.]: Duke University Press
  6. Chua Beng Huat and Koichi Iwabuchi. (eds.). 2008. East Asian Pop Culture: Analyzing the Korea Wave. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press
  7. Mark James Russell. 2014. K-pop Now!: The Korean Music Revolution. North Clarendon, VT: Tuttle Publishing Tae-Jin, Yoon and Dal Yong Jin. 2017. The Korean wave: Evolution, Fandom, and Transnationality. Blue Ridge Summit: The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group
  8. Youjeong Oh. 2018. Pop City: Korean Popular Culture and the Selling of Place. Ithaca: Cornell University Press
  9. Dal Yong Jin. 2016. New Korean Wave: Transnational Cultural Power in the Age of Social Media. Baltimore: University of Illinois Press
  10. Kuwahara, Y. 2014. The Korean Wave: Korean Popular Culture in Global Context. New York: Palgrave Macmillan
  11. Lei, John. 2014. K-pop: Popular Music, Cultural Amnesia, and Economic Innovation in South Korea. Berkeley: University of California Press
  12. Youna Kim. 2016. Routledge Handbook of Korean Culture and Society. Taylor and Francis.
Course Assessment Group Presentation (40%)

Final Paper (60%)

  The above course information is subject to change and approval.
  Last updated on 6 April 2022