Haebitchan Jung

Youth, Ecstasy, and the World: Beyond the Postmodern and the Post-subcultural through Rave Culture in South Korea
Spring 2014

My work at large investigates theories on transnational youth cultures as articulated by western scholars (American and British), who tackle topics of global capitalism, postmodernism, hybridization of global and local cultures, and so on. The general intention behind my investigation is to trouble the claims that these scholars make, such as the universal applicability of postmodern thought in a world dominated by western capitalism and consumption. I attempt to question claims like this by observing specifically the South Korean youth and their responses to western commodities advertised online for a global rave event in South Korea. These responses largely illustrate disinclination toward consuming the western items during the dancing event due to the products being cheap, useless, unappealing, and untranslatable to the foreign audience. In the end, the language of the South Korean youth exposes a gap that exists between western theorists and their theorized subjects (i.e., the S. Korean youth), and by extension, it questions the authority of western epistemology utilized to analyze non-western subjects.