바로가기메뉴

본문 바로가기 주메뉴 바로가기

logo

  • P-ISSN0023-3900
  • E-ISSN2733-9343

Ssen-Unni in K-Pop: The Makings of “Strong Sisters” in South Korea

Korea Journal, (P)0023-3900; (E)2733-9343
2020, v.60 no.1, pp.17-39
https://doi.org/10.25024/kj.2020.60.1.17
Jieun LEE (Wake Forest University)
(The University of Georgia)
  • Downloaded
  • Viewed

Abstract

From the highest points of Psy’s and BTS’s popularity, K-pop fans worldwide have continued to experience the Korean Wave through different media, contexts, and perspectives. In search of the intersections between the Hallyu phenomenon and femininity, this article investigates K-pop women singers’ media presentations and performances that are critical in understanding women’s positionality in contemporary South Korea. In this paper, we will focus particularly on the recent configuration of ssenunni (strong sister) that evokes a feeling of empowerment in young women K-pop fans. Examining how the diverse and often contradictory messages of women’s liberation and freedom have been produced, disseminated, and consumed, using the strong femininity implied by the notion of ssen-unni before and after Hallyu, we argue that the contemporary representations of femininity by women artists in the K-pop world reveal not only limitations, but also potentials in the changing cultural topography of Korean society.

keywords
K-pop ssen-unni Hallyu Korean Wave femininity performance Korean women singers

Korea Journal