Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis




College of Arts and Sciences

First Advisor

Olga Ivashkevich


The advent of digital technologies has allowed the multi-directional distribution of cultural products and blurred boundaries between national popular cultures. This sociocultural condition opens up a global public sphere for youth so that they can actively participate as part of a transcultural audience of popular culture and communicate with their peers from all over the world. K-Pop (Korean popular music) is an example of popular content that has reached across the globe and attained a worldwide fandom through digital media platforms. The K-Pop industry proactively applied various strategies to utilize this media condition and target global youth. Considering the cultural experience of today's youth, K-Pop can provide valuable educational opportunities in the art classroom.

To navigate the current condition of digital media, in Chapter 1, I explore K-Pop music videos as examples of digitally mediated popular culture that introduce a national cultural phenomenon into the global public sphere. I also examine how K-Pop penetrates youth culture worldwide and generates their participation. In Chapter 2, I describe a research project that I conducted in Seoul, South Korea. The process of this project included the following steps: (1) decoding K-Pop media texts, (2) encoding participants' own meanings through media production, and (3) sharing the finished media projects. Chapter 3 provides the primary findings from the research project, including the following: (1) the importance of teaching elements of media texts and digital languages, (2) the characteristics of media production by youth as understood through the framework of (Duncum, 2014), and (3) ambivalent attitudes toward critical issues in popular media texts. Through theoretical research, its application to a curriculum, and the curriculum's implementation in a school setting, this project demonstrates howpopular media texts can be used as effective educational resources for youth in the digital age


© 2017, Aelim Kim

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