Korea has become a strong influencer of global popular culture. With a handful of Korean celebrities entering mainstream U.S. pop music, Hallyu, the Korean Wave, has been growing tremendously in popularity. Following this global trend, American audiences are increasingly tuning into K-pop. The current study uses Q-sort methodology to investigate the motives, opinions, and attitudes of American fans of K-pop, specifically to find what drives people to seek music whose roots lie in an unfamiliar cultural landscape. Study results show that non-Korean K-pop fans in the United States fall into three distinct groups: the human lovers ("Honey honey, how you thrill me"), the product and production appreciators ("Music is my life"), and the social connectors ("With a little help from my friends"). Although the music appreciators and the socializers have been identified in previous K-pop research, the "Honey honey" group is a new category in K-pop culture research.
College and Department
Fine Arts and Communications; Communications
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Cho, Janice Kim, ""Sure It's Foreign Music, but It's Not Foreign to Me" Understanding K-Pop's Popularity in the U.S. Using Q Sort" (2017). All Theses and Dissertations. 6612.
K-pop, communications, fandom, popular culture, globalization, Q methodology