Hardcore Subcultures for Law-Abiding Citizens and Online Nationalism: Case Study on the Korean Internet Community ILBE Jeojangso
In general, the Internet is perceived as a liberal space in terms of major user demographics and political orientation, and Korea’s cyberspace leans toward liberals and left-wing groups (Peak, 2013). So, interesting questions arise regarding ILBE and its popularity: In a liberal-dominant cyberspace, what drives conservative netizens to the ILBE community, armed with strong racism and nationalism? What are the differences and commonalities between the ILBE community and Japanese Netto-uyo? In the chronology of Korean online communities, sporadically, netizens possessing conservative and racist traits have attempted to build conservative online communities but these have been limited, and none has evolved into an influential community on a par with ILBE (Peak, 2013). This leads to our next question: What leads to ILBE’s great success and the popularity of its site, in contrast to the humble beginnings of its conservative predecessors which ended in failure? In addressing the question, this study explored the characteristics of the ILBE community as neo-right online activists. Also, to examine the difference between ILBE and traditional nationalism in South Korea, the study delved into the historical context of society’s political and regional conflicts. Further study looked at the generation gap between Generation X (in the Korean context, the 386 Generation) and millenniums (the young population, now in their 20s and 30s) to understand ILBE as a form of online subculture for the young generation.
Online nationalism, Online jingoism, online community, political disinhibition
Asian Studies | Business and Corporate Communications | Social Influence and Political Communication
Panorama: Insights into Asian and European Affairs
Hardcore Subcultures for Law-Abiding Citizens and Online Nationalism: Case Study on the Korean Internet Community ILBE Jeojangso. (2015). Panorama: Insights into Asian and European Affairs. 2015, 165-175. Research Collection Lee Kong Chian School Of Business.
Available at: http://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/lkcsb_research/4760