Date on Honors Thesis

Spring 5-2021


Public Relations, International Studies


Chinese Studies

Examining Committee Member

Dr. Marcie Hinton, Advisor

Examining Committee Member

Dr. Marc Polizzi, Committee Member

Examining Committee Member

Dr. Brittany Wood, Committee Member


This paper uses media coverage of idol-state interactions to understand the ways in which states utilize pop culture as a component of their public diplomacy strategy. Idol-state interactions are defined as an event where a pop cultural figure accompanies or is accompanied by a state official to a formal meeting with a representative of a foreign government. Looking specifically at South Korean diplomatic events where K-Pop idols are present, I find that idol-state interactions have the potential to increase media coverage, further cultural understanding and serve as a relationship-building tool.