Sam Richards is a professor of sociology at Pennsylvania State University. He focused on the rise of Korean culture called Hallyu long before it started attracting people from different countries. He said that Korean culture or K-content are on the rise because of its originality in approach.
In his interview with The Korea Times, he said that Korea captured the minds and attention of people worldwide because of its technological innovation. In addition, their cultural content has been widely viewed throughout the world. At the same time, they kept their unique Korean features alive and did not abandon them.
He said that the Koreans did not copy others’ work; rather, they created newness within their culture and content that has been a part of the Korean Peninsula for a long.
He is known for teaching race and culture in the U.S. for 28 years. He has around 800 students every semester who studies different social, cultural, and controversial topics. His course was the subject of an Emmy Award-winning TV broadcast, “You Can’t Say That,” which has over 61,000 subscribers on Livestream YouTube.
His interest in Korea began in the 1980s when one of his students and his wife were from Korea. Later on, their economic and cultural life of them captured his attention.
The Korean tradition and community values that its content provide appeal most to global audiences.
He said that in today’s time, many world artists want to collaborate with Korean artists so that they can get Koreanness in their work.
The main question lies in whether the fascination with Korean culture is temporary or it will become mainstream entertainment.
Richard said that both the private and government sectors need to work together for the cultural essence to survive in environmental and social crises.