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INTRODUCTION

          When people think about minorities in the United States, like the word “Korean-American,” they believe that Korean-Americans belong to both Korean and American identities; however, that belief is not true. We are neither true Koreans nor true Americans. As a child, I had a hard time discovering the truth of minorities to the point that I hated learning Korean. Fortunately, I became exposed to multiple Korean media — Korean literature, Korean dramas, Korean variety shows, and modern K-Pop — that made learning Korean intriguing. K-Pop really fascinated me because I realized that I could use singing as a method to speak in the language, and ultimately, I embraced my Korean-American identity.  

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Hearing K-Pop songs that stretch across the Ole Miss Grove from the Student Union Plaza after my exhausting 11:00 classes reminded me yet again not only of the catchy melody and rhythm but also the smooth language of Korean. The familiar dance choreographies that I constantly watch on YouTube caught my eyes as well. People circled around the performers, and they reminded me of the beauty in K-Pop. Ole Miss Generation, an on-campus student organization that practices and performs the tricky dance choreographies of female and male Korean idol groups (more technical term of K-Pop dance groups), surfed on the “Hallyu wave” and became devoted to “learn and spread the knowledge of Korean pop culture through music and dance” (OMG 1). Ann Johns, a linguist from San Diego State University, noticed that people congregate together, like a community or genre, when they reveal common interests. Ann Johns further defines such organizations as a “discourse community,” or a community in which the members have similar goals, communication methods, one or more genres, language, and knowledge (500). Dirk, another analyst of genres, added that repetitive, ongoing responses and patterns of a work, such as K-Pop, generate genres, such as fan bases and fandoms (252). K-Pop is a music sub-genre that originated in South Korea as singing groups shifted to dances and songs that intrigued young adults and teengaers. In the 1990s, Seo Taiji and Boys initiated the great phenomenon as their unique, novel music appealed to preadolescents and young adults.

Eventually in the late 1990s and early 2000s, two contrasting boy groups, SECHSKIES (a charismatic-and-chic-feel boy group) and H.O.T (a bubbly-and-cute-feel boy group) rivalled that even their fans, consisting of teenagers and young adults, rivalled among themselves, elevating the peak of the K-Pop wave. After the groups’ disbandments, many entertainment agencies began to follow the trend, and Korean popular music expanded to countries outside South Korea, like Japan and Thailand. The sensations of BIG BANG, Girl’s Generation, and Shinee in the United States and Japan; TVXQ in Japan; and Super Junior (Fig. 1) in the United States, Thailand, Argentina, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Japan broadened the fan base of K-Pop and heightened the peak of the Hallyu wave again. The global and domestic fans’ responses to K-Pop music videos generated a genre— K-Pop dance covers. With a common interest and goal, Ole Miss Generation, or OMG for short, joined the discourse community of K-Pop dance cover groups as they all share a common platform, particularly YouTube, with common elements, such as their logo, personas, and dance choreography. Ole Miss Generation also contributes to the genre of YouTube’s K-Pop dance cover as well.

Images:

BEFREETOUR. Image of SMTOWN Theatre. 2017.

The Korea Herald. Members of Super Junior pose at their 100th "Super Show" concert at the Jamsil Indoor Stadium in Seoul on Sunday. 

          (SM Entertainment). 2014.

TEAM

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EMBER SUH

RESEARCHER

Ember Suh is a junior at the University of Mississippi and the president of Korean Students Association (KSA) for 2021-22 term. She researched Ole Miss Generation as her WRIT 102 project. 

Major: Forensic Chemistry with ACS Certification.

Minor: Psychology and Biology

Favorite K-Pop groups: BTS, EXO, Super Junior

eysuh@go.olemiss.edu

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PAIGE ODEN

CURRENT PRESIDENT (2021-22)

Paige Oden is a senior at the University of Mississippi.  

Major: Biology

Minor: Manufacturing Engineering and Chemistry

Favorite K-Pop groups: BTS (of course), ATEEZ, Stray Kids, ITZY, etc.

proden@go.olemiss.edu

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OLIVIA GEORGE

CO-FOUNDER OF OMG

Olivia George was a student at the University of Mississippi. 

Major: International Studies

Minor: Korean

Favorite K-Pop groups: BTS, Orange Caramel, Itzy, TWICE, LOONA, CLC

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DELANEY MASON

CO-FOUNDER OF OMG

 

Delaney Mason was a student at the University of Mississippi. 

Major: Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC)

Minor: Public Relations

Favorite K-Pop groups: BTS, EXO, Big Bang, etc. 

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