Harnessing Cultural Soft Power: A Study of South Korea's Global Influence through the Korean Wave

S. Sunyogita *

II M.A English Language and Literature, Madras Christian College, India.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


In recent years, the global proliferation of Korean culture, known colloquially as the "Korean Wave" or "Hallyu," has significantly influenced contemporary culture, particularly in the realms of music, film, and digital media. This phenomenon has not only bolstered South Korea's economy but has also elevated its status as a major cultural hub in Asia. Leveraging platforms such as social networks, video-sharing services, and over-the-top (OTT) media, South Korea has effectively utilized its cultural exports, including K-Pop and K-Drama, to showcase its rich and diverse heritage to audiences worldwide. This paper explores the multifaceted impact of the Korean Wave, examining its role in shaping global perceptions of Korean culture and lifestyle. Specifically, it delves into the psychological benefits of consuming Korean dramas during the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting their role in providing entertainment, stress relief, and emotional support to viewers, it discusses how South Korea has utilized various media channels to promote aspects of its culture beyond entertainment, such as cuisine (K-Foods) and beauty (K-Beauty). Through a comprehensive analysis of the various elements comprising the Korean Wave, including K-pop music, Korean dramas, films, fashion, and cuisine, this research aims to elucidate the mechanisms behind South Korea's successful harnessing of cultural soft power. Additionally, this research explores the implications of South Korea's cultural soft power for its diplomatic relations, economy, and national identity. Through this investigation, we aim to provide valuable insights into the significance of cultural diplomacy in the contemporary global arena and offer recommendations for countries seeking to leverage their cultural assets for enhanced soft power projection. Through a comprehensive analysis, this paper aims to elucidate the strategies employed by South Korea to enhance its soft power and economic vitality through cultural diplomacy.

Keywords: Pop culture, K- Pop and K- Drama, soft power, culture, and economy

How to Cite

Sunyogita, S. (2024). Harnessing Cultural Soft Power: A Study of South Korea’s Global Influence through the Korean Wave. Asian Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, 7(2), 261–268. Retrieved from https://journalajl2c.com/index.php/AJL2C/article/view/183


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