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Giselle Peralta
Department: Anthropology
Year: Junior
Class: ANTH 585

Latinx Waves in Kpop

Identities allow us to connect with a trend, item, or music. Kpop, in recent times, has spread throughout the world, creating connections among people. This project explores the influences of Latin American fan bases on Kpop through the work of the South Korean boy group, Super Junior, as a significant contributor to the globalization in Kpop. By analyzing video content and social media comments from posts of “Otra Vez” (with Reik) and “Lo Siento” (with Leslie Grace), this project examines connections made by fans from the Latinx community regardless of their location. In the music videos of each collaboration, there is key imagery, style of music, as well as romanization. Colorful clothing, choreography and symbols-- use of crosses, the Virgin Mary, and day of the dead skulls--reference Latin America, more specifically Mexico. Multilingual comments on video posts in social media, mostly in Spanish or occasionally Spanglish, further illuminate connections made by fans from the Latinx community. The songs provide a handshake between Latinx culture and enjoyment of Kpop. While Kpop has had influence over how fans view themselves as well as how it has come to spread, Kpop has also been influenced by its fan base, leading to collaborations and covers that make connections among different groups. As Brian Larkin notes, “Media figure prominently in creating interconnections between different peoples who can now consider alternative lives based not on experiences in their own locality but a range of experiences brought to them through international mass media" (1997, 410).
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