Hanbok is the traditional fashion of South Korea, and literally translates to “Korean clothing.” Once worn every day, today hanbok is reserved for special occasions and holidays; however new “modern” versions of the attire are becoming more and more popular for everyday wear. This new iteration of the traditional clothing created a new vernacular of Korean nationalism and “Koreanness” through the incorporation of modern fashion trends and traditional Korean aesthetics. Modern hanbok represents the unique relationship between nationalism, globalization, and fashion, and can be seen as an example of cultural hybridization. Looking at modern hanbok through the lens of Hallyu, or the Korean wave, provides insight into how constructions of Korean nationalism and notions of “Koreanness” are created, maintained, and change over time. In order to examine how modern hanbok operates as a new form of Korean nationalism and “Koreanness,” this thesis explores the hanbok tourism industry and the K-Pop industry in conversation with one another. Together these analyses highlight how globalization and nationalism interact with one another in different ways, and showcases Korea’s efforts to create and maintain a national imaginary while negotiating their growing economic, cultural, and political power in the world.
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Humanities and Cultural Studies
Smith, Katharine V., "Transformations of Hanbok in the Age of Hallyu: Fashion, Cultural Hybridization, and the Construction of Vernacular Korean Nationalism" (2022). Honors Undergraduate Theses. 1210.