Main Article Content

Fitria Angeliqa
Fizzy Andriani


The reflections of joy in the lyrics are part of the singer's message tactic in his songs. Even so, with the overall packaging of the singer's appearance. The problem is when world-class singers sing self-motivating songs for their listeners, at the same time, life's troubles become familiar to the singer. Many articles also reported how severe depression, mental health, and suicide occurred in the lives of
these artists. Demi Lovato, Shia, and Ariana Grande are some Western artists claiming to have experienced mental health problems. In the ranks of Korean artists, names such as Twice Jeongyeon, AOA Kwon Mina, HyunA, Red Velvet Wendy, and Super Junior Heechul are artists who have also experienced mental health problems and severe depression. The same thing happened to the BTS members. RM and Suga are two members who have admitted to experiencing depression and seeing life as an uphill struggle. This study aims to describe how BTS songs with the theme 'Love yourself' do not reflect the lives of BTS members under strict agency rules and fans' supervision. Ultimately, the theme of 'love yourself' is just a simulation strategy that generates 'false joy' for the members but has a substantial economic impact on the agency. This study uses the concepts of simulacra, panopticon, and duality reflection. At the same time, the research method is qualitative, with document study as a data collection technique. The unit of analysis is the text, namely the BTS song lyrics with the theme 'love yourself' and media reports about the members' lives. These two data are then compared and produce a simulacra picture because there is no reflection on what is being sung and what the members are experiencing. A life full of surveillance from fans and companies removes the privacy boundaries of the members who are – in the end – just a commodity for business turnover. It is where the irony occurs. The pseudo happiness experienced by these members generated many economic benefits for the agency. Increasing the number of listeners, purchasing merchandise, selling concert tickets, traffic on social media, and brand endorsements are essential aspects that can be monetized by the agency, which accompanies the fame of the songs sung by BTS. While living without romantic relationships, solitude, and loneliness, the prohibition of direct interaction via social media with fans are some things that fence off the members' lives and make them even more alienated from social life.


Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
Angeliqa, F., & Andriani, F. (2024). THE PSEUDO HAPPINESS AS SONG STRATEGY’S SIMULACRA VERSUS PANOPTIC: BTS’S SONGS AND BTS MEMBERS . WILAYAH: The International Journal of East Asian Studies, 13(1), 30–50.


Andersson, Martin, Montserrat López Jerez, and Luka Miladinovic. 2023. “Divergence before the Division: The Colonial Origins of Separate Development Paths in Korea.” Journal of Institutional Economics, 1–18.

Athikho, K. 2017. “Globalization, Hybridization and Cultural Invasion - Korean Wave in India’s North East.” Asian Communication Research 14 (1). DOI:10.20879/acr.2017.14.1.10 .

Bennett, Peter, Alex Kendall, and Julian McDougall. 2011. After the Media: Culture and Identity in the 21st Century. After the Media: Culture and Identity in the 21st Century.

Brandwatch. 2023. “99 Amazing Social Media Statistics and Facts.” Marketing. 2023.

Castells, M. 2010. The Rise of the Network Society, 2nd Edition With a New Preface. 2nd ed. Sussex, United Kingdom: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Cobley, P., and P.J. Schulz. 2013. Theories and Models of Communication. Boston: De Gruyter Mouton.

Couldry, N., and U. Mejias. 2019. The Costs of Connection: How Data Is Colonizing Human Life and Appropriating It for Capitalism. California: Stanford University Press.

Dyer-Witheford, N. 2014. The Global Worker and the Digital Front. In C. Fuchs, & M. Sandoval, Critique, Social Media and the Information Society. NY: Rotledge.

Eunsun, Gil. 2021. “The Contribution of Industries over Sixty Years of Economic Growth in South Korea.” KIET Industrial Economic Review 26 (5).

Falkheimer, J., and M. Heide. 2014. Strategic Communication in Participatory Culture: From One and Two Way Communication to Participatory Communication Through Social Media. London: Routledge.

Fleckenstein, Timo, Soohyun Christine Lee, and Jaehyoung Park. 2023. “Skills and Training in Hierarchical Capitalism: The Rise and Fall of Vocational Training in South Korea.” Journal of Contemporary Asia.

Hardy, Jonathan. 2014. Critical Political Economy of the Media An Introduction. 1st ed. London: Routledge.

Jenkins, Henry. 2006. Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. New York: NYU Press.

Jin., D. Y., and H. Yi. 2020. “Transnationality of Popular Culture in the Korean Wave.” Korea Journal 60 (1): 5–16.

Kang, J. 2021. “Analysis of Success Factors of HYBE Based on Service Triangle Model - BTS Case Study.” The Journal of Internet E-Commerce Research 21 (5): 23–41.

Kim, K. H. 2022. BTS and the World Music Industry. In Y. K. (Ed), THE SOFT POWER OF THE KOREAN WAVE Parasite, BTS and Drama. London: Routledge.

Kim, Yeji. 2019. “Global Citizenship Education in South Korea: Ideologies, Inequalities, and Teacher Voices.” Globalisation, Societies and Education 17 (2): 177–93.

Lee, Y. L., M. Jung, R. J. Nathan, and J. E. Chung. 2020. “Cross-National Study on the Perception of the Korean Wave and Cultural Hybridity in Indonesia and Malaysia Using Discourse on Social Media .” Sustainability 12 (15): 60–72.

Matheson, D. 2005. Media Discourses: Analysing MediaText. McGraw-Hill: New York.

Monge, Peter R, and Noshir Contractor. 2003. Theories of Communication Networks. Oxford University Press.

Papacharissi, Z. 2010. A Private Sphere, Democracy In A Digital Age. USA: Polity Press.

Prey, R. 2015. The Network’s Blindspot: Exclusion, Exploitation and Marx’s Process-Relational Ontology. In C. Fuchs, & V. M. (Eds.), Marx in the Age of Digital Capitalism. Boston: Brill.

Revelle, G. L., G. A. Strouse, G. L. Troseth, S. Rvachew, and D. T. Forrester. 2019. Technology Support for Adults and Children Reading Together: Questions Answered and Questions Raised. In J. E. Kim, & B. H.-D. (Eds), Reading in the Digital Age: Young Children’s Experiences with E-Books . NY: Springer International.

Safko, L. 2010. The Social Media Bible: Tactics, Tools, and Strategies for Business Success. Canada: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Sierra, F. 2015. Cultural Consumption and Media Power. In L. A. (Eds), Power, Media, Culture: A Critical View from the Political Economy of Communication. UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

Zysik, Christ opher. 2021. “K-POP AND SUICIDE—MARGINALIZ ATION AND RESISTANCE IN THE KOREAN POP INDUSTRY.” Online Publications of the Gesellschaft Für Popularmusikforschung/ German Society for Popular Music Studies e. V. 19 (Special Issue). w w w . g f p m - s a m p l e s . d e / S a m p l e s 1 9 / z y s i k . p d f %0A.