Korea as the Wave of a Future:The Emerging Dream Society of Icons and Aesthetic Experience

by Jim Dator and Yongseok Seo


A familiar perspective on social change suggests that over the past several thousand years, human settlements have changed in size and complexity from hunting and gathering, to agricultural, to industrial, and most recently to information societies. Some theorists have recently suggested that the world may be moving into dream societies of icons and aesthetic experience. Evidence is presented here that indicates that South Korea may be leading the transition as it implements policies to base their economy on popular culture, perhaps eventually replacing “Gross National Product” as a measure of socioeconomic success with “Gross National Cool”.

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