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Title: Seung-ri and the burning sun scandal: a study of K-pop idol reputations and identities
Authors: Luu, Vinh Trinh
Keywords: Social sciences::Sociology
Issue Date: 2022
Publisher: Nanyang Technological University
Source: Luu, V. T. (2022). Seung-ri and the burning sun scandal: a study of K-pop idol reputations and identities. Master's thesis, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
Abstract: This thesis offers an examination of reputational work and identity processes that are often part of it by studying the contested reputation of Seung ri from K-pop music act BigBang, who got caught up in the 2019 Burning Sun scandal and was convicted for prostitution meditation, illegal overseas gambling, fund embezzlement, distribution of explicit footage of women, among other offenses in early 2022. Though not the only high-profile figure involved in the scandal, the K-pop artist has arguably received the most public attention since the case became publicized. Communities of K-pop fans and those interested in Korean media in general were split in their reactions to news of Seung-ri involvement in the scandal. Some believe he was framed and scapegoated for the crimes of others or unfairly trialed by the media and uninformed public. Others are under the impression that the idol really did commit the crimes he was committed of. Groups with divergent takes on the scandal often clashed on social media, constructing almost contradictory public images of Seung-ri in support of their claims regarding his involvement. Applying Fine’s theoretical framework on reputation construction, which holds that a person’s reputation is embedded in the interests, relations, and perceptions of those creating it (or reputational entrepreneurs) to online discussions of the Burning Sun scandal and interviews with former and current fans of BigBang, I found that the reputations that those interested in the scandal created for Seung-ri were shaped by their cynical views of celebrities, negative perceptions of South Korea due to its widespread corruption and patriarchal social structure, mistrust of the South Korean media and government, rivalry among different K-pop fandoms, negative public perceptions of K-pop fans, and fans’ emotional connection with Seung-ri and BigBang. Moreover, as part of constructing Seung-ri’s reputations, reputational entrepreneurs constructed for themselves and each other a range of categorical identities with the purpose of using the social images these identities generate to influence the credibility of their reputational accounts of Seung-ri.
DOI: 10.32657/10356/163672
Schools: School of Social Sciences 
Rights: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:SSS Theses

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