Korean Wave as Tool for Korea’s New Cultural Diplomacy


In recent years, there has been an influx of Korean popular culture throughout the world, including East Asia, Southeast Asia, Europe, and the Americas. Korean popular culture, also known as the “Korean Wave” (Hallyu in Korean) ranges from television dramas, movies, popular music (K-pop), dance (B-boys), video game, food, fashion, tourism, and language (Hangul). The main focus of this paper is to examine the essence of the Korean Wave and its impact on the world. In particular, this paper aims to explore the relationships between the spread of the Korean Wave and political and social changes in a global perspective. That is, does the Korean Wave affect the political position and diplomatic leverage of Korea in any meaningful way? Toward this objective, this paper first examines the relevant literature of international relations for policy and culture change, especially with regards to globalization, interdependence, soft power and world value change. Then, recent developments of the Korean Wave are reviewed and critically analyzed in order to ascertain political and policy implications for Korean diplomatic and practical directives. Finally, we will draw an interpretive conclusion and recommendations toward the plausibility of the Korean Wave as a policy tool for Korea’s cultural diplomacy.

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Jang, G. & Paik, W. (2012). Korean Wave as Tool for Korea’s New Cultural Diplomacy. Advances in Applied Sociology, 2, 196-202. doi: 10.4236/aasoci.2012.23026.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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