A guest blog entry by Amy P (student, world citizen)
As an avid K-pop fan for the past few years, I was fortunate enough to have been able to witness the growth of K-pop from a once unknown music genre to eventually becoming a global sensation. So much has changed over time for K-pop and it has shown to play a particular role for adolescents.
From within South Korea’s society, the social trend of adolescents leaning towards pursuing a career within the entertainment industry has risen due to the rise in global popularity of K-pop. It has not just been the adolescents from South Korea but adolescents from across the globe have also shown a desire to pursue the goal towards becoming the next K-pop idol. Throughout the past few years, K-pop has been gaining a huge global audience, recognition, and name for itself due to the factors of K-pop taking a global hit worldwide after the popularity of South Korean artist PSY’s song, “Gangnam Style” in 2012 and also along with other factors and trends contributing to the global introduction of K-pop.
Prior to the popularity and sensation of K-pop, a career within the entertainment industry was once perceived by parents and others within the South Korean society as an unacceptable and inferior career path for children and adolescents. However, as the global popularity and sensation of K-pop continues to gain millions of dollars in revenue, some have changed their perceptions of it and found it to be a socially acceptable career while some on the other hand still do not agree with it. While some are allowing for their children to follow pursuit of the career path of an idol, parents are even ridiculously willing to spend hundreds to thousands of dollars for their children to attend schools that prepare them for this specific career path.
The entertainment industry has really shown proof in becoming a form of power that shows to have control in influencing numerous individuals. Their influence through portraying these images of fame and fortune are misconceptions that young people fail to realize. These adolescents are showing to be blind to even notice that there is more than just fame and fortune that comes along with it.
Mills (1959) would argue that the entertainment industry has made a significant impact on society through driving adolescents away from the actual expectations of society. Moreover, adolescents are being influenced to reach for something that is unreal causing for them to break away from the true aspects of reality.
This brings children and adolescents to fall for these misconceptions by being influenced to chase after an unattainable goal where each one in reality, have barely a chance in becoming an idol star. Therefore, the entertainment industry plays such a negative role by delivering these certain messages aimed towards adolescents that are resulting in putting them to believe that they have the same chances and capabilities towards becoming an idol and living this perceptional life of fame and fortune. The popularity of K-pop really has created a social change in society, on in which a career as a K-pop idol could become the new dream job for adolescents currently and in the future.
Mills, C. Wright. 2000 (1959). The Sociological Imagination: 40th Anniversary Edition. Oxford University Press.