Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Hongme Li

Second Advisor

Leonard Teel

Third Advisor

Sharon Shahaf


This thesis examines the cultural consumption of the Korean music video Gangnam Style in the broader context of the increasing popularity of Korean popular content, often called the Korean Wave, and of complex conditions of transnational consumption. Specifically, it investigates why the music video Gangnam Style gained popularity not only in East Asia but also over the world, how it is circulated, and what conditions contribute to its success. It focuses on the role of the networked audiences and the interactions between the networked audiences and mainstream media through a chronological analysis on the distribution and reproduction process of Gangnam Style on YouTube. Through the case study of Gangman Style, this thesis attempts to rethink the established globalization theories and to suggest new perspective of cultural circulation in the globalized and digitalized media environment.