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K-poppers in Bulgaria: passions and challenges in the global world

The k-pop phenomenon is already spreading around the world. Created and developed in a regional South Korean context, it is gaining global importance. K-pop establishs itself all over the world, attracts millions of followers and outlines new challenges for the last two decades. Thanks to certain models, cultural politics and strategies, social communication and psychological impact, k-pop finds an increasing place in the cultural industries. It is successfully sold on world markets as part of the Korean wave (hallyu). It became a sign of the creative industries as a segment of youth culture and business related to it. Thus, a new community also emerged in Bulgaria – the followers of k-pop, for the name of which a hybrid neologism "k-popper" has constructed (fans of k-pop). This study continues my longtime analysis on various music culture aspects of the Republic of Korea/South Korea, its development and cultural industries. The emphasis in this text is on the reflections of k-pop and especially on the existence of the k-poppers’ community in Bulgaria. My aim is to trace the growing interest among Bulgarian fans on this phenomenon, their performances, perceptions and emotions that accompany the modeling of their community, as well as the role of new technologies and means of communication. I focus on a new phenomenon in Bulgarian culture - a community of k-popers in the context of globalization, analyze the prerequisites for its spread, forms of expression, some social and psychological challenges. I rely on a broad cultural context and my own empirical observations. As a result I systematize the processes and phenomena that stimulate the interest in Korean culture as well as I comment on and present the peculiarities of k-poppers and their community in Bulgaria. Thus, this study continues my previous research on the topic.
Keywords: k-pop, k-poppers, challenges, Bulgaria, South Korea/Republic of Korea

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