„Maknae“ is the name given to the youngest member of a family in the South Korean language. „Maknae“ is also spelled „magnae.“
The term „maknae“ is also used for groups. Here, „Maknae“ refers to the youngest member of a band or group.
What does „maknae“ mean? Meaning, definition, explanation
South Korea has a distinct pop music culture. In this culture, music groups also play a particularly prominent role. The youngest member of such a pop group is more often referred to as a „maknae“.
A typical nestling
In English usage, the word nestling is most commonly known. Strictly speaking, „maknae“ means such a person. In contrast to English, however, the term is used much more frequently on the Korean peninsula and also in significantly more areas. In addition to the family, as already mentioned, „maknae“ is also used in reference to groups, especially music groups.
In most cases, the youngest member of a family or group can enjoy a special status and is protected to a special degree. However, this can also have disadvantages, especially in view of the strict hierarchy that prevails in Korean families in particular.
South Korea in particular is still very much dominated by so-called Confucianism. There are only a few families that do not want to maintain such a tradition today. In concrete terms, this means that a younger and thus, to a particular extent, the youngest member of a family is of lesser importance with regard to decisions and also property. Although this family member does not automatically experience less love and recognition, it has to subordinate itself to the other family members in the increased measure.
The so-called Confucianism provides above all also that the inheritance which can be distributed is assigned primarily to the oldest member of a family. Here, it is especially the sons who can benefit greatly from this tradition.
See: K-Pop / Korean dictionary
Being a „Maknae“ is not only advantageous
Whether one can actually profit from significant advantages as a so-called „Maknae“ is questionable. Certainly, a lot always depends on the personal views of a family. It quickly becomes clear that family life in South Korea is conservative and strictly organized. Thus, everyone is stuck in his or her role and must fulfill it. Breaking out of a particular role is sometimes virtually impossible and only succeeds with considerable turbulence.
Differences between the genders
In South Korea, men tend to be preferred to women. This is also supposed to mean that as a man, you occupy a higher position in society.
As a „maknae,“ it is thus not entirely irrelevant whether one is born a man or a woman. As a woman one will feel disadvantages in such a position even today. Men, on the other hand, enjoy much more attention. Whether this will change in the next few years or even decades remains to be seen.
The term „maknae“ is a Korean term and is also preferably used only in Korea. Here, the term is very common and can be found not only in everyday language, but also in the network world.