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Anh Q. Kathryn B. Alexander Ph. Peter Ajer Ph. Whitney Bauman Ph. Bohannon II, and Kevin J. O'Brien, eds. Sharon Betsworth Ph. Kirk A.

Bingaman Ph. Alexander Blair Ph. Erin Brigham Ph. Sean D. Burke Ph. Douglas Burton-Christie Ph. Woody Carter Ph. Joseph Cheah Ph.

Theological Reflections on "Gangnam Style" | Reading Religion

Robert Collie Th. Steven Danver M. Elizabeth Drescher Ph. Patricia Dutcher-Walls Th. Kevin Fauteux Ph. Peter Feldmeier Ph. Brian Froese Ph.

Templegate, Lynne Gerber Ph. Tricia Gibbs as Sarah Isaias, M. Michelle Gonzalez Ph. Rebecca Gordon Ph.

Recent Faculty and Alumni Publications

Max Hammer, with Barry J. Hammer Ph. David Phillips Hansen Ph. Yes, prior to Psy, no Asian or Asian American had been a leading entertainer or pop singer on the American music market. This is due not to the lack of Asian singers as there are plenty of K-pop singers who are making huge waves in Asia. Psy is the first and the only Asian male thus far who "has made it" in the American music scene.

It is a milestone that would not go unnoticed -- especially by Asians and Asian Americans. The fact that Psy is the first Asian to break into the American music industry prompts the question of whether his achievement was due in part to the ways in which Psy fits into the negative stereotypes of Asian male deeply inscribed in the American history? Or was his success due solely to his musical talent, charismatic personality, catchy music video and easy to mimic dance routine?

The break-out success of Psy's music video, "Gangnam Style" has evoked reactions from Internet bloggers and academics concerning whether we are "laughing at Psy" or we are "laughing with Psy.


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The popularity of "Gangnam Style" prompts us to rethink about the relationship between the margins and the center. Using Jung Young Lee's theology of marginalization, we examine the relationship between the margins and the center not as polar opposites but as an interactive dynamic of the two socio-political locations. Western music comes with Western privilege and, like white privilege, this type of agency does not need to crossover to the margins because Western pop stars are already idolized the world over.

Psy, however, became popular without attempting to crossover to the center. The Internet phenomenon spread his music video, originally intended for consumption by native South Koreans, and made it available the world over without translation or reinvention and, consequently, provides us with multiple sites of creativity and ingenuity. The manner in which Gangnam is viewed by people of different cultures depends on how they perceive and interpret a phenomenon.

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The music video, "Gangnam Style," may be catchy and the dance routine may be simple to follow, but the sociocultural and political factors within which this phenomenon is perceived and interpreted varies from one culture to the next and from one subculture to the next within the same country. Each group's context is specific to its own group. No single group views and listens to "Gangnam Style" in the same particular way which causes different reactions to the same phenomenon.

In South Korea, "Gangnam Style" can be mocked for various reasons in and between people of different classes, but for those living outside of Korea's geographical and cultural context, we must approach Psy's work with lenses that incorporate our own socio-cultural circumstances. You can go to cart and save for later there.

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