Authentic self branding on social media and its effects on global culture flows: A case study of K-pop group SuperM

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Author: Wong, Zoe
The integration of social media in the entertainment industry has changed fan/celebrity relationships and practices. Celebrities’ presentation of authentic self-images is especially important for fostering emotional attachment and forming parasocial relationships for fanbase maintenance. This is particularly important for the Korean pop culture industry where globalization is the industry’s ultimate goal. This capstone project aims to explore how K-pop celebrities use social media to promote authentic self-branding that attracts global audiences through examining specific forms of authenticity that members of the K-pop group SuperM uses on their personal Instagram accounts and the fan/celebrity interactions that result from the posts. Findings of the study show four qualities of authenticity as well as four aspects of culture that are prominent in the posts. Taking this into account, this paper argues that the authenticity and self-branding presented in SuperM’s Instagram posts inherently promotes Korean and K-pop culture, which in turn has the potential to affect fans’ cultural identities and offer a counter-culture flow that challenges cultural imperialism from the West
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