K Pop As An Example Of A Discourse Community
The major difference between humans and animals is the ability to communicate with each other. Throughout the course of human development, people need a way for mass communication to reach a final decision or to represent a certain point of view or belief. This can represent as a discourse community, which Swales defined it as “a group that has goals or purposes, and uses communication to achieve these goals.”(Swales). Kpop is a good example of a discourse community due to two parameters of Swales’s theory, which everyone in the community shares the same goal of supporting and enjoying the new products of the music groups and a distinct vocabulary that is unique to its members.
Some common aspirations and goals are shared by this community. Music has become an important part of the life of people nowadays. Many music bands have become famous and are creating tremendous discourse communities that follow them. People with the same music taste have created discourse communities supporting their favorite music bands and enjoying the music (Pogner, 2003). K-pop the Korean Pop is a discourse community that every member in the discourse has the same taste for music and the same goals of supporting the band they follow. K-pop has created many different groups that are actively performing tasks for supporting music groups. The most famous of these groups are Allkpop, Dispatch, etc. Their main job is to notify people about the upcoming new music-related products in the market and news of their idols. Anyone can join the community and become one of its members without following any set of rules or trends. A group of friends can be formed or it can be supported even by being alone. The favorite groups are supported through buying concert tickets, attending concerts, buying light sticks, posters, or even by keeping the picture of the group as phone lock screens.
A discourse community comprises of several specific lexeis. It refers to the specific jargon and is mainly unique to any community. However, it is also essential for the members of the particular community in order to maintain the intercommunications. Netizen is a Korean-English (Konglish) word and it can be defined as internet users particularly as a person or an entity that actively participates in the online communities. It can be used to imply one’s interest or opinion while focusing on internet access and free speech. The discourse communities are devoted to gathering and sharing information as their agenda has to be the same (Swales). They maintain personal sentiments towards specific kinds of music groups or any famous idols. K-pop is one of the most popular music genres and it distinguishes among different generations of the music groups. The record evaluation is entirely dependent on the time any genre has circulated over in the market. This specific tradition has been extracted from the filial piety cultures of South Korea. It has expanded over many phases of its transition and currently, it has three generations of K-pop idols. For the time period, Gen 1 refers to groups that debut from 2006 to 2010. Gen 2 refers to groups from 2010 to 2014. Gen 3 refers to groups from 2014 until now. The youngest member of the K-pop music group or community is known as Maknae.
K-pop members also use a lot of literacy to communicate with each other about K-pop’s affairs. On Allkpop, there existed many forums that allow K-pop fans to comment to express their knowledge and point of view about the news that related to their idols. People comment on the posts shared by the forums about their favorite groups. They want to be active, social and find other people with the same hobbies on social media. The information is exchanged spontaneously and effectively. The enthusiasm of youth towards the discourse community is shown and felt throughout the literacy. Moreover, the release date and daily lives of the music groups are also posted on the forums to attract people to come to the forums. Joining the K-pop community is not only a hobby but it also helps to make new friends. It is easier to make new friends and be friends with people with the same hobbies.
In the article “11 K-Pop Idols Whose Death Glares Could (Probably) Kill” (Sammilee), they describe the look of 11 typical Korean idols. The title uses the word “glare” (Sammilee), which in this case means the idol’s eye contact with their audience. The article also uses strong words like “kill” to emphasize the beauty and intelligence of the eye glance. On the other hand, the article organizes the list in a unique order. It puts male and female idols’s profile interchangeably so that the readers will not feel bored since the readers can be from different genders. For each idol, the article uses the example of eye glare by inserting GIFs, a kind of motion picture. This effect helps the reader to have a better experience of how the idols’ visual is in reality. Below the article, there is a comment area that allows readers to give their opinions and interact with each other. The comment area gives the opportunities for K-pop fans to recognize themselves and enjoy the beauty of K-pop idols as a whole, which connects with Swales’s theory about “the community must have an agreed-upon and public set of goals.” (Swales). Also contemplating the idols’ visual is the unique action that only exists among K-pop fans. The idols’ appearance is an important factor to help the K-pop fans define their favorite one. This ties to one of Swales’ theories, which is a distinct vocabulary or action that unique to the discourse community.
Personally, the K-pop community contributes an important part in my social life. Wherever I go, I can easily make new friends and connect with people who idolize the same person. We always have topics to discuss since the new events such as the release date of the new album, the affairs within the community are posted frequently. The K-pop community is not only the place to connect I and other people together to push their idols to the top but it is also the place where the members can give their support to the community through goodwill. Planting trees and raising money for charities in the honor of the idols can be found in many K-pop fandoms. More specifically, the K-pop community helped me overcome depression a few years ago when I first came to the United States. BTS boyband, my favorite band, alleviates my depression through their meaningful lyrics and beautiful rhythm of the song “Magic Shop”. Other BTS fans were there to help me by chatting with me for hours. I was lonely until I met them. They had been my most charitable, humorous friends. I was no longer feel lonely and lost because I could feel the connection between myself and the K-pop fandom.
K-pop is a worldwide discourse community that meets two parameters of Swale. Everyone shares the same goals and purposes of enjoying and supporting the music of their favorite band by listening to it online or download it to their devices. They also support their favorite groups through purchasing lightsticks, albums, and posters. There is a variety of lexises in K-pop such as Netizen, Maknae, and Bias. The K-pop community uses mechanisms such as newspapers, social media or online forums to discuss many topics and questions related to K-pop. K-pop is a healthy discourse community that connects people around the world together and creates a big fandom network.
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