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MSC215, Week 7: 10/10-10/14

by: Jessica Tsai

MSC215, Week 7: 10/10-10/14 MUSC215-0106

Marketplace > University of Maryland > Music > MUSC215-0106 > MSC215 Week 7 10 10 10 14
Jessica Tsai

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About this Document

K-Pop, Femininity, Masculinity, Culture, History
World Popular Musics and Identity
Dr. Laura Schnitker
Class Notes
K-pop, Feminism, masculinity, Culture, history, Music
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Jessica Tsai on Saturday October 15, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to MUSC215-0106 at University of Maryland taught by Dr. Laura Schnitker in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 8 views. For similar materials see World Popular Musics and Identity in Music at University of Maryland.


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Date Created: 10/15/16
10/10 K­Pop and Gender: K­pop Idols, Masculinities, and Fandom Topics: ● Idol system in K­pop ● Flower Boys and BEasts ● Case studies in Korean TV dramas and K­pop ● Fandom Korean Popular Masculinities ● Dynamic, changing over time ● Anderson: not just “beast” or “pretty”, but a whole range ● Groups often include displays of multiple norms ● Men often embody different norms over time Idol System ● Pop idols ○ Image controlled by production company (company gives you  training, awesome music videos, how to act, how to sing, etc.) ○ Short longevity ■ All idols are replaceable ○ Training ■ Language training, for globalization of music  (Chinese, Japanese, English) ■ Media flexibility (singing, dramas, guest talk shows, etc., gives the viewer a feeling of intimacy) ● Commodification, how the company chooses its idols: 1. Identify style 2. Identify market 3. Choose suitable artist Seo Taiji and Boys (first group that had a K­pop feel, in the late 80s “Anan Arayo”) ● Combining stylistic elements ○ Rock guitar riffs ○ Rap ○ Sampling ○ Melodic singing ● Emphasis on visual presentation ○ Dance ○ Fashion  ● From the 90s to 2000s, started mass­producing boy bands and girl groups as the idol system ramped up (H.O.T. “Candy”) Korean Hip­Hop in the 21st Century ● Similarities and differences with U.S. hip hop market ○ Korean/African­American coded styles ○ Anderson: “swagger” (body movements, body language, words,  fashion) is coded with associations to African­Americans ■ Western toughness and masculinity becomes  transplanted into Korean hip hop ● Must work largely within the current idol industry (“Zutter” BigBang) Korean TV Dramas ● Winter Sonata (2004) ● Bae Yong­joon ● Broadcast all around Asia ● Changed idea of how men should act all around Asia ○ Sensitive ○ Polite ○ Strong yet sacrificing ○ Pure, not lewd, love ○ FIT Momjjang  Gender norms in K­Pop Women ● Barbie doll aesthetic ○ Objectification of the body ● cute/innocent ● sexy/strong Men ● Sensitivity, emotion ● “Flower Boy” ● “Beast” ● Momjjang Objectification of the body Women Men Barbie Doll aesthetic Momjjang Cute/innocent Sensitivity, emotional, “Flower Boy” Sexy/strong “Beast” Flower Boy Beast Fair skin Tough Silky hair Wild Gentle manner Macho Commercialization of youth and beauty Must maintain the image of adolescence  (eventually shows a more mature masculinity) Makeup and fancy costumes reflect advanced stage persona, not femininity Female fans claim full ownership over male  entertainers (no public dating, no sex  scandals) Reflects heterosexual adolescent masculinity  that projects female fans’ sexual desire In real practice...Variations between group members, variations between songs, Never so clear­ cut for individuals. Case Study: Song Joong­ki ● Star of Descendants of the Sun  ● Military training & appeal ● Always known for beauty, published a book Beautiful skin for Men (2010) ● K­drama and romance Cast Study: Infinite ● “Man in Love” (A) vs. “Back” (B) ● B features a lot of breaking ● A was all cheery ● A was more androgynous, and B was more masculine ● Both are still love songs ● LOL THE MESSY HAIR ● Similar tempos, neither aggressive nor passive ● Different members has different roles: the rapper is just as sweet as the singing Fluid Masculinities strategies for expression ● Clothing & color ● Makeup ● Expressions (facial, body, lyrics, etc.) ● Singing vs. rapping ● Language in lyrics ● major/minor tonality ● Varied representations ○ Between group members ○ Between songs ○ Over time ● Diversity in expression = diversity in fandom Korean fandom ● Fangirls are primarily women, teenagers and early 20s ● Patrons of idols ○ Online comments ○ Chant/call­back ○ Jogong (“Tribute”) ○ Fandom wars ○ Protest against the company ● Fans have the ability to control idols to be ideal citizens Female gaze in Korean Drama ● Female­dominant contents ○ Family issues or love relationship ○ Less­sexual­­romance over sex ○ Female gaze­­sexualized male body 10/12 K­Pop Idols as Entertainers ● Idolized and degraded at the same time ○ Idols are “idolized” and exist to serve “you fans” ● “Fan service”: entertainer as a service worker ○ Sells a fantasy of fascination (music videos and stage  performances) and intimacy (variety shows) ■ “BTS: V Fan Service”, covers her teeth and lets her know where she can take care of it ■ GD Dragon, V­App, a web­session in the bed ■ Gender Play ● Girls Day x Boys Day “Something”  Celebration 400th Anniversary ● (Thinks to myself, Lip Sync Battle  Channing Tatum & Beyonce vs. Mrs. Tatum)  Key Themes: ● Women’s bodies have been controlled and policed by men constantly ● Women must often navigate between images of innocence and sexuality “Girl Groups” from the 1930s ● Jeogori Sisters (1939) ­ first for recording industry, selling recordings and sheet  music ● Kim Sisters (1953) ­ women started performing (in American army bases) and  got famous because of the Korean War, marketing by their mother (trained in many  instruments, and spoke English) ● Pearl Sisters (1968) and Bunny Girls (1970s) ­ began to have the same aesthetic as the Kim Sisters ● 1970s had a crackdown in SK for free speech, freedom, and hippie culture  (miniskirts, Westernization) ○ Wanted women to be homemakers Female Musicians from 70s to 90s ● 70s and 80s mostly female solo: Shim Subong ● Early 90s male idol groups (Seo Taeji and the Boys, H.O.T.), few female  musicians ● Late 1990s saw the emergence of Girl Groups like S.E.S.(1997) (template for  later Girl Groups) “I’m Your Girl” and Fin.K.L (1998) ○ Overexposure especially of faces and eyes ○ Contrasting colors ○ Innocence, cuteness over sexuality ○ Simple, lively melody ○ Clear voice “Idol” Girl Groups, late 2000s ● Girls’ Generation (2007)  ○ “Gee” (2009) ■ The biggest hit song of the 2000s ■ Still really cute and innocent ■ Contrast between the shy lyrics and the sexy dance moves ○ “You Think” (2015) no longer in high school members! ■ A lot more sexual movements in the dance, but this is common in global 2009 vs. 2016 pop culture ○ “Lion Heart” (2015) ■ Released on the same album as “You Think” ■ The story is that the male character has been  playing all of them ● Wonder Girls (2007) K­Pop Femininity ● Innocent, pure images ○ Fair skin, big eyes ○ “Girls’” Generation, Wonder “Girls” ● Aegyo (cuteness, charm) KWOW#39, Yoona­extreme ● “Barbie Doll” aesthetic ○ Objectification, commodification of the female body ○ Cosmetic surgery ● Polarized images ○ Innocent, pure girl vs. provocative, sexy femme fatale ● Too much in either direction has negative consequences (Yoona­extreme,  explicit music videos banned from stations, K­Pop star caught secretly dating or  scandaling) ● Groups today are moving away from either/or toward both/and these images of  sexuality 10/14 0106 Discussion Masculinity PSY in Gangnam Style ● Confident, charismatic ● Flower Boy pursues romantic love, not the sexual love like PSY is doing ● Dance style and movements are aggressive, but there’s no real fighting ● PSY has a normal body, like a comedic actor’s body...he doesn’t look anorexic Rain (Bi) “Rainism” ● Popularity difference between this and Gangnam style: why is this less liked? ○ Not an easy dance style ○ Almost like he is copying American culture ○ Americans like random and colorful scenes, but his MV is dark  and gloomy ○ A foreigner singing in English has less of an appeal ● Beasty character Femininity BoA “Eat You Up” American Korean Sexualized Baggy Clothes Showing more skin More focus on dance More powerful expression Creating a whole new video for the song just for Americans was done because... ● Americans are more about sexuality and sensuality in MVs, it seems. ● Every other race besides white is hypersexualized.


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