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Thu, September 23, 2021 | 18:34
The rhizomatic, hypermodern cinematic universe of BLACKPINK's 'Kill This Love' video
As a visual sociologist, I started this article a long time ago by talking about the fantasy worlds of BTS. But in the time that has passed since this video was released, BTS has been upstaged in my mind by BLACKPINK.
Clothing, social empathy and the power of stepping into someone else's shoes
There is a power in stepping into someone else's shoes, as the old American expression goes. But it must be done without stepping on the toes of the person who owns them. What one does in deciding to don the accoutrements and attire of the other is symbolically place oneself into their subject(ive) position.
Seoul Fashion Week: On the runway of diversity
The most recent Seoul Fashion Week was a staging ground for diversity and diverse projects. I've been crowing about the way the unique space of the Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) has offered itself for all sorts of social activities, including the independent and organic formation of the largest fashion runway at the Seoul Fashion Week event, and it's comprised of everyday fol...
The material girls of Pyongyang: theorizing gendered consumption in North Korea
This time around, I'm going to issue a “trigger warning” for my article. If words on a page require you to concentrate, think hard, and carefully digest the concepts being thrown at you, it is likely you will simply skip this article this week and thumb over to something else.If all long or unfamiliar words that denote pretty big concepts (that are actually defined in the pie...
Dragging K-Pop onto the global stage
Much ado has been made about K-POP. And these days, even more social attention has been placed on things such as gender and the politics of belonging, along with the changing nature of seemingly “simple” identities. Put simply, there's a lot of talk about shifting definitions of male and female, as well as the rights that are attendant to those identities and expressions of s...
Notes from Seoul Fashion Week, October 2018
I have just finished covering Seoul Fashion Week and am now at Vietnam International Fashion Week to look at fashion there and Korean influence on it, which I have seen and been told is considerable. Rather than an extended prose description, I will allow the photos and captions from Instagram to speak for themselves.
The Korean Style: The medium and message of Korean fashion
Lately I have been exploring the way a Korean style defines the snowballing interest in Korean popular culture that is quickly spreading across the planet.
Exploring K-spaces: The new playgrounds of Seoul
Back in 2015, after a conference presentation in which I likened the new use of public spaces in Seoul to “noriteo” (놀이터) in terms of their social use, a prominent and obviously conservative Korean sociologist came up to me and told me I was completely wrong, and that I misunderstood the way the word was used in Korean. I chalked up this bit of K-splaining criticism to him si...
Fashion field notes from Danang
As an ethnographer, I'm always thinking about people, the groups they see themselves as part of, and the way they define discrete cultures. As a visual sociologist, I think about our extremely visual culture in which identity and the very important economic acts of consumption that define our place and worth in society are all focused through images and acts of display.
Multiculturalism: Korea's most obstinate 'iron cage'
I'm going to do something writers aren't supposed to do - lose the reader immediately. Well, that's not actually my goal, since I'm doing this deliberately with the goal of making a point. And the first line of this piece, along with the gob-stopping opening image, should be enough to attract sufficient attention.