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  » Issue contents  2021-05-06 Show Me the Monolingualism
Show me the monolingualism: Korean hip-hop and the discourse of difference
 
Chungjae LEE and Jerry Won LEE
 
 
ABSTRACT   Today, the ubiquitousness of Korean hip-hop is evident in the popularity of the reality show Show Me the Money, a musical competition featuring aspiring Korean and Korean American hip-hop artists. While the show has always been a platform for linguistic hybridity, as Korean hip-hop has never been trulymonolingual,” the recent evolution of the show to include Korean American artists has focalized the linguistic and cultural hybridity that inheres global hip-hop more generally and Korean hip-hop more specifically. Undoubtedly, these two matrices of difference, linguistic and cultural, are invariably intertwined, particularly in the Korean context, where being “authentically” Korean itself hinges on proficiency in the Korean language. The analysis develops what Gramling (2016) terms the “invention of monolingualism,” in particular with how Korean hip-hop in the context of SMTM in relation to questions of verbal hygiene and the discourse of authenticity and emulation. We argue that SMTM should not be understood as a mere space for the documentation of various acts of transgressing monolingualism through linguistic and cultural hybridity. Instead, it unveils the social and geopolitical conditions by which the very commitment to, along with the presumed precarity of, “monolingualism” is afforded an ideological platform in the first place.
 
 
KEYWORDS: Korean hip-hop; monolingualism; Show Me the Money; K-pop; verbal hygiene; authenticity; emulation, globalization
 
 
Notes on contributors
 
Chungjae Lee is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of California, Irvine. His research in political theory and Korean studies has been published in European Journal of Political Theory, Positions: Asia Critique, and Korean Aesthetics.
 
Jerry Won Lee is Associate Professor at University of California, Irvine. His publications include a monograph on The Politics of Translingualism, and edited volumes on Translinguistics: Negotiating Innovation and Ordinariness, and Korean Englishes in Transnational Contexts. He is currently completing a monograph on the semiotics and space of global Korea.
 

 

 
    

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Notes for contributors

Vol 22.1

22.1 visual essay

Vol 1-10

Vol 11-20

Vol 21-

Vol 10-15 visual essay

Vol 16-20 visual essay

Vol 21- visual essay

IACS Society

Consortium of IACS Institutions

Related Publications

IACS Conferences

A Chronology