This short paper considers hallyu or, to put it more descriptively, South Korean popular culture in global circulation, outside the framework of what are arguably the primary purposes of its producers, namely, making profit and, in more nebulous terms, promoting national culture overseas. I submit that what is due equal if not greater attention is that which occurs when South Korean popular culture is consumed, when it has left the hands of its producers and evolves and multiplies into different cultures through the "friction" of cross-cultural contact.1) This preliminary study will consider a particular facet of such cultural contact as the experience of racism and othering by those who visit or sojourn in South Korea, many of whom are increasingly followers of South Korean pop culture, for various transitory and long-term purposes. I start the paper with a literary vignette and a classroom anecdote. In discussing O Chonghui``s short story, "Chinatown," a couple of my ethnic Chinese students remarked on their negative experience in South Korea-that they were disliked-that hinted at how othering works in the country.2) In the following, I think about their experience through Albert Memmi``s notion of doubly socialized racist practices that necessitate totalization in discourse production.3) I look specifically at three particular ways in which totalizing otherness occurs and integrates into culture including stereotyping, arbitrary identifications, and everyday practice. I close the paper with a few thoughts and questions to be considered on the implications of racism on hallyu.
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