CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON KOREAN DIGITAL AND SOCIAL MEDIASCAPES
In the last couple of decades, Korea’s digital and social media has become a major force in transforming Korean society, where information and communication technologies are pervasive throughout. Some activists have been using digital and social media as an essential form of mobilization in the public sphere. Meanwhile, corporations driving the cultural industries have utilized digital and social media as a new outlet for the global prominence of Korean popular culture around the world in their myriad forms. The popularity of Korean cultural products, including K-pop, Korean dramas, and digital games in the domestic and global marketplace is evident in recent sensations such as the hit “Gangnam style,” which is still the most viewed YouTube video in history. These activities and practices have asked us to think over the primary role of digital and social media in what is consistently the world’s most networked society both socially and in terms of internet access. This panel considers the role of these technologies in the development of a new form of global youth culture. It is a critical exchange of dialogue and scholarship that involves analyzing the critical role of digital and social media in the Korean context, providing an interdisciplinary model for research in this sociocultural milieu.