Serial Dramas, Confucian Leadership and the Global Television Market
Author: Ying Zhu
This book explores the political, economic, and cultural forces, locally and globally that have shaped the evolution of Chinese primetime television dramas, and the way that these dramas in turn have actively engaged in the major intellectual and policy debates concerning the path, steps, and speed of China’s economic and political modernization during the post-Deng Xiaoping era. It intertwines the evolution of Chinese television drama particularly with the ascendance of the Chinese New Left that favors a recentralization of state authority and an alternative path towards China’s modernization and China’s current administration’s call for building a "harmonious society." Two types of serial drama are highlighted in this regard, the politically provocative dynasty drama and the culturally ambiguous domestic drama. The book also provides cross-cultural comparisons that parallel the textual and institutional strategies of transnational Chinese language TV dramas with dramas from the three leading centers of transnational television production, the US, Brazil and Mexico in Latin America, and the Korean-led East Asia region. The comparison reveals creative connections while it also explores how the emergence of a Chinese cultural-linguistic market, together with other cultural-linguistic markets, complicates the power dynamics of global cultural flows.
The past two decades witnessed the rise of television entertainment in China. Although television networks are still state-owned and Party-controlled in China, the ideological landscape of television programs has become increasingly diverse and even paradoxical, simultaneously subservient and defiant, nationalistic and cosmopolitan, moralistic and fun-loving, extravagant and mundane. Studying Chinese television as a key node in the network of power relationships, therefore, provides us with a unique opportunity to understand the tension-fraught and , paradox-permeated conditions of Chinese post-socialism. This book argues for a serious engagement with television entertainment. rethinking, It addresses the following questions. How is entertainment television politically and culturally significant in the Chinese context? How have political, industrial, and technological changes in the 2000s affected the way Chinese television relates to the state and society? How can we think of media regulation and censorship without perpetuating the myth of a self-serving authoritarian regime vs. a subdued cultural workforce? What do popular televisual texts tell us about the unsettled and reconfigured relations between commercial television and the state? The book presents a number of studies of popular television programs that are sensitive to the changing production and regulatory contexts for Chinese television in the twenty-first century. As an interdisciplinary study of the television industry, this book covers a number of important issues in China today, such as censorship, nationalism, consumerism, social justice, and the central and local authorities. As such, it will appeal to a broad audience including students and scholars of Chinese culture and society, media studies, television studies, and cultural studies.
What does it mean for a cinematic work to be "Chinese"? Does it refer specifically to a work's subject, or does it also reflect considerations of language, ethnicity, nationality, ideology, or political orientation? Such questions make any single approach to a vast field like "Chinese cinema" difficult at best. Accordingly, The Oxford Handbook of Chinese Cinemas situates the term more broadly among various different phases, genres, and distinct national configurations, while taking care to address the consequences of grouping together so many disparate histories under a single banner. Offering both a platform for cross-disciplinary dialogue and a mapping of Chinese cinema as an expanded field, this Handbook presents thirty-three essays by leading researchers and scholars intent on yielding new insights and new analyses using three different methodologies. Chapters in Part I investigate the historical periodizations of the field through changing notions of national and political identity -- all the way from the industry's beginnings in the 1920s up to its current forms in contemporary Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the global diaspora. Chapters in Part II feature studies centered on the field's taxonomical formalities, including such topics as the role of the Chinese opera in technological innovation, the political logic of the "Maoist film," and the psychoanalytic formula of the kung fu action film. Finally, in Part III, focus is given to the structural elements that comprise a work's production, distribution, and reception to reveal the broader cinematic apparatuses within which these works are positioned. Taken together, the multipronged approach supports a wider platform beyond the geopolitical and linguistic limitations in existing scholarship. Expertly edited to illustrate a representative set of up to date topics and approaches, The Oxford Handbook of Chinese Cinemas provides a vital addition to a burgeoning field still in its formative stages.
This book considers the changing nature of intimacy in contemporary China, providing a unique case study of romantic subjectivities in young people in the world’s fastest growing economy. Since the implementation of reform in 1978, the economic and socio-cultural environment of modern China has experienced a dramatic transformation under the influence of urbanization and globalization, facilitating more individualized identity among Chinese youth. This book bridges the gap between an emergent emphasis on individualisation and the country’s traditional norms and values. It focuses on young people’s understandings of various forms of relationships such as cohabitation, extramarital relationships and multiple relationships, suggesting a challenge to traditional familial values and an increasingly diversified understanding of the concepts of love and romance. By examining the formation of relationships among 21st century Chinese youth, notably through the lens of popular Chinese TV dating programs, this book considers how dating and relationships mirror China’s changing societal structure and examines social and cultural transformations in Chinese society.
“The definitive work on Chinese television . . . A pioneering picture of CCTV and its crucial role in the contemporary Chinese political economy” (Robert W. McChesney, author of Corporate Media and the Threat to Democracy). As China navigates the murky waters of a “third way” with liberal economic policies under a strict political regime, the surprising battleground for China’s future emerges in the country’s highest rated television network—China Central Television, or CCTV. With 16 internationally broadcast channels and over 1.2 billion viewers, CCTV is a powerhouse in conveying Chinese news and entertainment. The hybrid nature of the network has also transformed it into an unexpected site of discourse in a country that has little official space for negotiation. While CCTV programming is state sponsored—and censored—the popularity and profit of the station are determined by the people. And as the Chinese Communist Party seeks to exert its own voice on domestic and international affairs, the prospect of finding an amenable audience becomes increasingly paramount. Through a series of interviews with a fascinating cast of power players including a director of a special topic program that incited the 1989 student movement, current and past presidents of CCTV, and producers at the frontline of the network’s rapidly evolving role in Chinese culture, celebrated media analyst Ying Zhu unlocks a doorway to political power that has long been shrouded in mystery. “An indispensable guide to the Chinese media landscape.” —The New Inquiry “Up until Two Billion Eyes, the view of Chinese media has often been limited . . . Ying Zhu expands the periphery of our vision.” —Los Angeles Review of Books
Due to high audience numbers and the significant influence upon the opinions and values of viewers, the political leadership in China attributes great importance to the impact of television dramas. Many successful TV serials have served as useful conduits to disseminate official rhetoric and mainstream ideology, and they also offer a rich area of research by providing insight into the changing Chinese political, social and cultural context. This book examines a group of recently released TV drama serials in China which focus upon, and to various degrees represent, topical political, social and cultural phenomena. Some of the selected TV serials reflect the present ideological proclivities of the Chinese government, whilst others mirror social and cultural occurrences or provide coded and thought-provoking messages on China’s socio-economic and political reality. Through in-depth textual analysis of the plots, scenes and characters of these selected TV serials, the book provides timely interpretations of contemporary Chinese society, its political inclinations, social fashions and cultural tendencies. The book also demonstrates how popular media narratives of TV drama serials engage with sensitive civic issues and cultural phenomena of modern-day China, which in turn encourages a broader social imagination and potential for change. Advancing our understanding of contemporary China, this book will appeal to students and scholars of contemporary Chinese culture, society and politics, as well as those with research interests in television studies more generally.
Understanding Television in the Post-Broadcast Era
Author: Graeme Turner
Category: Social Science
Television studies must now address a complex environment where change has been vigorous but uneven, and where local and national conditions vary significantly. Globalizing media industries, deregulatory policy regimes, the multiplication, convergence and trade in media formats, the emergence of new content production industries outside the US/UK umbrella, and the fragmentation of media audiences are all changing the nature of television today: its content, its industrial structure and how it is consumed. Television Studies after TV leads the way in developing new ways of understanding television in the post-broadcast era. With contributions from leading international scholars, it considers the full range of convergent media now implicated in understanding television, and also focuses on large non-Anglophone markets – such as Asia and Latin America — in order to accurately reflect the wide variety of structures, forms and content which now organise television around the world.
Television is a massive industry in China, yet fewer people are watching television screens. This ground-breaking study explores how television content is changing, how the Chinese government is responding to the challenges presented by digital media, and how businesses are brokering alliances in both traditional and new media sectors.
This book presents an analysis of television histories across India, China, Taiwan, Singapore, Indonesia, Japan, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Malaysia and Bhutan. It offers a set of standard data on the history of television’s cultural, industrial and political structures in each specific national context, allowing for cross-regional comparative analysis. Each chapter presents a case study on a salient aspect of contemporary television culture of the nation in question, such as analyses of ideology in television content in Japan and Singapore, and transformations of industry structure vis-à-vis state versus market control in China and Taiwan. The book provides a comprehensive overview of TV histories in Asia as well as a survey of current issues and concerns in Asian television cultures and their social and political impact.
This collection of essays brings together the first comprehensive study of TV drama in China. Examining in depth the production, distribution and consumption of TV drama, the international team of experts demonstrate why it remains the pre-eminent media form in China. The examples are diverse, highlighting the complexity of producing narrative content in a rapidly changing political and social environment. Genres examined include the revisionist Qing drama, historical and contemporary domestic dramas, anti-corruption dramas, "pink" dramas, Red Classics, stories from the Diaspora, and sit-coms. In addition to genres, the collection explores industry dynamics: how TV dramas are marketed and consumed on DVD, and China's aspirations to export its television drama rights. The book provides an international and cross-cultural perspective with chapters on Taiwanese TV drama in China, the impact of South Korean drama, and trans-border production between the Mainland and Hong Kong.
The Cultural Politics of Music-Entertainment Programmes
Author: Lauren Gorfinkel
Category: Social Science
This book examines music entertainment programmes on China Central Television, China’s only national level television network, as well as on nationally-available provincial channels, exploring how such programmes project a nuanced image of China’s identity and position in the world. It shows how the images presented - primarily to domestic audiences - are in step with China’s party-state nationalism, and at the same time flexible and open to change as China’s circumstances change. The book contextualises identity construction in the media by examining the development of television in China and the political struggles between provincial and national television stations, as well as by foregrounding the historical and contemporary role of musical culture in China's nation-building project. It discusses the portrayal of the majority Han Chinese, and of ethnic minorities and their music, which, the author argues, are shown as fitting with the party-state rhetoric of “a unitary multi-ethnic state”. It also outlines how the Chinese of Greater China – Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macao and the overseas Chinese – are incorporated into a mainland centred Chinese identity. In addition, it shows how the performances of foreign personalities on the Chinese television stage emphasise foreigners' attraction to China, the uniqueness of the Chinese nation and Chinese civilisation, and the revitalised role of China in the world. Overall, the book demonstrates how the variations of Chinese identity fit with prevailing political ideologies in China and with the emerging theme of a China-centred world.
This book advances research about China by providing an updated narrative of its entertainment life in the beginning of China’s twenty-first century. As the rest of the world continues to pay keen attention to developments in China’s politics, economy, and culture, the book provides insights on fascinating new developments in contemporary Chinese popular culture—including its reality television, family dramas centered around younger generations’ life struggles, and social media. Furthermore, Entertainment and Politics in Contemporary China is the first book to apply the theoretical innovation of an aesthetic public sphere in examining closely the linkages between China’s political life and activities in the country’s culture sphere. Since concepts of public sphere and democracy largely took root from the West, Wu argues that this case study of China promises valuable insights about entertainment’s role in the formation of citizenship and building of a civil society, which remains a site of great contention in Western theories and empirical efforts.
"The presence of television is influencing the future of China in ways that no other technology or human agency can" (J. Lull). Given its' importance, both culturally and politically, the television industry is one of the most interesting industries in China. However, a quick review of regulations and market realities showed that there are virtually no foreign channels in the country and probably won’t be for a while; therefore the focus of this report is foreign television content entering China - and, to a slightly lesser degree, Chinese content in global markets. All video genres are discussed here, with news and current affairs programming being a special case. The first part of this report is a short introduction that includes the history of political influence and a review of existing regulations. After this overview, the industry and major players (namely CCTV, Xinhua, News Corp, Phoenix, Disney, Discovery, Viacom) are introduced and analyzed. Here, the issue of cultural imperialism, or Western media influence, is elaborated on. Then, the paper discusses the opportunities for international firms in the Chinese media market and the tension between Government control and market liberalisation. A compelling answer to the question of who will dominate the domestic market in ten years is developed. Finally, the impact of Chinese content on international markets will be assessed within the same timeframe. This is particularly interesting as media is not a traditional manufacturing industry and poses different challenges i.e. creative skills.
This book is a sociological study of how economic reforms, started in the late 1970s, have affected people's life in China. The book is based upon the author's recent research projects conducted in mainland China. The unique feature of the book is not only based upon qualitative analysis but also quantitative data, the integration of which can enhance readers' understanding of current social and political developments in post-Mao China. In particular, the book aims to depict a context and sociological framework for the analysis of the dynamic and interactive processes between economic, social and political fronts.
Radically reoriented under market reform, Chinese cities present both the landscapes of the First and Third World, and are increasingly playing a critical role in the country’s economic development. Yet, radical marketization co-exists with the ever-presence of state control. Exploring the interaction of China’s market development, state regulation and the resulting transformation and creation of new urban spaces, this innovative, key book provides the first integrated treatment of China’s urban development in the dynamic market transition. Focusing on land and housing development, the authors, all renowned authorities in this field, show how the market has been ‘created’ under post-reform urban conditions, and examine ‘the state in action’, highlighting how changing urban governance towards local entrepreneurial state facilitates market formation. A significant, original contribution, they highlight the key actors and their institutional contexts. China has been very successful in using urban land development as an economic growth engine, and here the authors investigate complex interactions between the market and state in creating this new urbanism. Taking a unique perspective, they marshal original ideas and empirical work based on field studies and collaborative work with colleagues in China.
This book explores China's digital presence in the Asia-Pacific region. Drawing on new research into the business models of digital platforms, it shows how China's leading internet technology platforms are contributing to China's actual cultural influence and its perceived reputation. Drawing on political economy of the media, industry analysis, platform studies and cultural policy studies, the book shows that China's commercial digital platforms are increasingly recognized outside China and can disseminate Chinese culture more effectively than government supported media. In considering the multi-layered rise of China argument, the book considers its growing technological status as an innovative nation through four policy approaches: culture+, industry+, internet+ and platform+. Other + characterizations include intelligent+ and social+. These + characterizations show how China is rejuvenating, drawing technological know-how from the region, and adding to its cultural (and soft) power. The book focuses on six locations: Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand. The authors analyse Beijing's changing policies towards the governance of culture, internet technologies and digital platforms, as well as examining consumer perceptions of China and Chinese products in the Asia-Pacific region. In using the + characterizations, the authors provide a comprehensive analysis of how Chinese cultural and creative industries became digital, as well as investigating the key players and the leading platforms including Alibaba, Tencent, ByteDance, TikTok, Baidu, iQiyi, and Meituan.