Politics of Love in the Cottage Industry? Mediating Transnational Fandom on social media fansites in the case of K-pop

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Abstract

This paper examines social media fan clubs as a site of fan politics surrounding globalized popular culture such as K-pop. I want to focus on fanclubs as a major actor in the globalized operation of K-pop celebrity industry, how they capitalize on the algorithmic settings of social media to organize, mobilize, and manage trans-national fandom. More importantly, I also wish to articulate the dynamics as well as tensions within fan politics that might unravel micro-geo-political ‘algorithms’ in the (East) Asian region. Specifically, I want to ask these questions: i) How has the continued success of K-pop shaped fan practices/ culture, as displayed on social media? On the other hand, how have algorithmic workings further complicate the interplay of these practices in the production of fandom? ii) Social media becomes almost the major site where fan clubs interact with local (and international) fans, as well as their favourite idols through the latter’s PR agencies. How do local fan clubs strategically negotiate geographical, cultural and algorithmic borders to appeal to and mobilize their fans, while adorning their desire for their idols? How do they structure the algorithmic architecture to localize their marketing strategies? iii) On the other hand, how do they negotiate ‘fan wars’ which could stem from the geo-political tensions in the East Asian region? The case of Hong Kong Fan sites exposes particularly the ‘sub-national’ conflicts between Chinese fans in Hong Kong and the mainland. How will the recent cultural-political rife across the geographical/ cultural borders inform fan behaviour as performed on the fan sites? Through in depth interviews and participant observations, this paper hopes to cast some observations into the nuanced politics among Chinese fans, and how it affects the practice and management of transnational fandom, as performed on social media sites.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017
EventInter-Asia Cultural Studies Conference 2017: Worlding Asia Beyond / After Globalization - Sungkonghoe University, Seoul, Korea, Republic of
Duration: 28 Jul 201730 Jul 2017
https://iacs2017.wordpress.com/

Conference

ConferenceInter-Asia Cultural Studies Conference 2017: Worlding Asia Beyond / After Globalization
Abbreviated titleIACS 2017
CountryKorea, Republic of
CitySeoul
Period28/07/1730/07/17
OtherInter-Asia Cultural Studies Society and Sungkunghoe University
Internet address

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LEUNG, Y. M. L. (2017). Politics of Love in the Cottage Industry? Mediating Transnational Fandom on social media fansites in the case of K-pop. Inter-Asia Cultural Studies Conference 2017: Worlding Asia Beyond / After Globalization, Seoul, Korea, Republic of.