A Game for the global North : the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang and South Korean cultural politics / Jung Woo Lee

Lee, Jung Woo

The South Korean region of Pyeongchang will host the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. Using Wallerstein’s world system theory and Collins’s notions of zones of prestige and emulation as a conceptual framework, this paper examines the South Korean Government’s intention to stage the winter sporting spectacle. As the Winter Olympics is arguably considered a game for the relatively affluent global north, South Korea, as a semi-core state, attempts to elevate its position to a global economic and cultural powerhouse through being a host of this winter sports mega-event. However, it should be noted that the Winter Olympic Games is an event through which white supremacy and Western cultural hegemony are continuously reinforced. Therefore, the South Korean ambition to enhance its international standing by staging the Winter Olympic Games paradoxically reflects Western cultural imperialism and Orientalism embedded in South Korean cultural politics associated with the winter sporting contest

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