The Hallyu in Pekanbaru: An Ethnographic Study on Indonesian Kpopers Parasociality

  • Raja Widya Novchi Faculty of Science Communication, University of Muhammadiyah Riau
  • Khusnul Hanafi Faculty of Science Communication, University of Muhammadiyah Riau
  • Raja Arlizon University of Riau


This paper explores the impact of the phenomenal Korean Wave or
hallyu among the youths of Pekanbaru, in the Riau Archipelago, Indonesia. The
significance of Korean popular culture, better known as K-pop, is perhaps
primarily marked by the rising popularity of K-pop communities in key urban
cities across Indonesia. In the context of Pekanbaru, however, there are
apparently only 3 remaining active K-pop fandom communities left today out
of 15 that attempted to advance the globalized phenomenon of hallyu. Critically
informed both by du Gay’s Circuit of Culture and Horton’s Parasociality as the
study’s overlapping parameters, we focus our ethnographic inquiry on the
impact of hallyu on the members of K-popers Pekanbaru. The scope of our
inquiry on the identity construction of the K-popers Pekanbaru community is
defined by the ‘youthful’ consumption, production and regulation of hallyu’s
parasociality. Data were collected through a set of ethnographic techniques such
as observation-participation, focus group discussions and in-depth interviews
the founder and members of K-popers Pekanbaru as well as authorities on local
and popular culture. The wider implication of hallyu on the maintenance of local
and ethnic cultures in Pekanbaru will also be discussed in the paper.


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