MULTIPLE CHOICE (5 pts. Each)
1. What is the term coined by international studies scholar Benedict Anderson to describe a collective that is thought of rather than actual?
A. Great Society
B. Tribal community
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C. Imagined community
D. Alternative agency
2. Which one of these is the name of a state that existed in Korean history?
A. Urinara (????????)
B. Baekje (?????)
C. Moguk (?????)
D. Haedong (?????)
3. Which one of these singers/groups specialize in music different from the others?
. Shin Joong-Hyun
B. Lee Sun-hee
4. In the late 1980s, Korea was swept by a pop culture mini-wave from overseas. Where did the mini-wave originate?
B. Hong Kong
5. Which of these language groups does Korean belong to?
D. None of the above
6. Choose one that does NOT appear in the Dangun Myth
SHORT ANSWERS (10 pts. each)
7. Koreas Pledge of Allegiance has been changed several times. How many times did it change and when did the changes occur?
The changes on the “Pledge of Allegiance” occurred twice: in 1972 and 2007.
8. Singers who started out as idols in the early boy/girl groups became successful in other fields of entertainment. Name at least two and the area they became successful in.
Cho Kyun-Kyun started as a member of Super Junior group and succeeded as a Master of Ceremony for talk shows as well. OckJu-Hyun, a member of Fin K.L Group, who also learned the skills of musical actress.
9. Briefly, explain how the bronze-age people of Korea built the dolmens
The Koreans used two or more stones in a vertical position to support a large flat rock to create a table-like structure that was then covered with heaped soil or small stones.
ESSAY (40 pts)
10. The opinion over the lack of creativity among idols’ trained by entertainment companies is much divided.
Some call the idols puppets that basically perform at the behest of large entertainment companies.
Others say the entertainment companies and the academy system they operate actually encourage creativity.
Explain, from your perspective, whether lack of creativity is a problem or a non-issue in Korean entertainment.
Creativity is about being original and doing things in a manner that attracts the audience in an enthusiastic way. It brings freshness in design and style, thus creating a power of constructive imagination or independent thoughts (Seoul Beat, 2012). In the Korean entertainment industry, however, the creativity is lacking, and it is considered to be a huge problem because what the consumers in the entertainment industry want is an artist’s creativity which they can relate.
It may be appropriate to say that the idols are puppets which only work to satisfy the demands of the huge companies while totally losing creativity in the process and encouraging the growth of the K-pop genre. Humanity is attracted to beauty and simplicity, and therefore these entertainment industries have known this, so they strive to be fluffy in creating music which is then sung by handsome men or beautiful women (Seoul Beat, 2012). The music is devoid of substance, but as long as the companies attract people from different backgrounds, they will continue with the trend provided that the demand for the idols will steadily continue to rise. The practice will encourage repetition of the same music and therefore dilute the substance of the K-pop music genre.
The other worrying factor which has contributed to the lack of creativity is that the entertainment companies dominate the K-pop. They are the ones who control the music genre besides being the masters in idol creation (Seoul Beat, 2012). They are a part of the marketing strategy whereby they influence the idol and limit its freedom of creativity. In this case, the song only gains reliability to an individual upon the attachment of his/her favorite computer-generated image to it.
The companies find creating animations which do not have freedom of creativity to be cheaper compared to the training of composers and songwriters, which can be more expensive to manage. Therefore, it is a cost-effective way of delivering their products and remaining relevant to the market, while destroying creativity and the developing talents of the next great entertainers in the industry (Seoul Beat, 2012). In this manner, the music lacks the sweat, tears, and blood of a single artist to whom the audience can be associated resulting in a lack of connection between artists and fans. Fans want to perceive the song through the eyes and the mind of the composer, regardless of whether the song is good or bad, which would not be the case with the idols. Everything they portray is unreal and therefore no one can take heart in the K-pop music.
In conclusion, Koreans lack of creativity in the entertainment industry is an issue of concern which should be taken seriously. It has killed talents and the enjoyment that comes with the freedom of a real artist. The connection between fans and artists has been lost and with time, people will fail to grasp the relevance in the genre and thus try to avoid it altogether.