#Unrequited love in cottage industry? Managing K-pop (transnational) fandom in the social media age

Document Type

Book chapter

Source Publication

The Korean Wave: Evolution, Fandom, and Transnationality

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Lexington Books


K-pop has attracted transnational fans over the years. While many studies have largely been an effort to decipher the reasons for its seemingly border-less appeal, many others have traced the role of online/social media in the strategic manufacturing and managing of fandom worldwide. Fans as an integral part of the global popular culture industry have themselves used social media extensively to indulge in their worship of, by way of mobilizing publicity for, their idols. This chapter focuses on fan-club organizers as capitalists/local intermediaries in the globalized operation of the K-pop celebrity industry, to examine how they capitalize on the algorithmic settings of social media to organize, mobilize, and manage transnational fandom. Given the longstanding scholarship of international fandom, I would like to contribute by articulating the cultural production by K-pop fan clubs by employing notions of “cultural intermediaries” to unpack how Hallyu as a global popular culture phenomenon could contribute to the evolution of fandom management, especially in the social media era. I also wish to interrogate the workings of fandom from a capitalism and labor point of view, incorporating the critiques around social media.

Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2017 by Lexington Books.

Additional Information

ISBN of the source publication: 9781498555579

Paper also presented at the Korean Wave Studies in Prospective, Yonsei University, Seoul, Aug 2016.



Recommended Citation

Leung, L. Y. M. (2016). #Unrequited love in cottage industry? Managing K-pop (transnational) fandom in the social media age. In T.-J. Yoon & D. Y. Jin (Eds.), The Korean Wave: Evolution, Fandom, and Transnationality (pp. 87-108). Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books.

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