Media and Cultural Transformation in China
By Haiqing Yu
Routledge – 2009 – 228 pages
This book examines the role played by the media in China’s cultural transformation in the early years of the 21st century. In contrast to the traditional view that sees the Chinese media as nothing more than a tool of communist propaganda, it demonstrates that the media is integral to China’s changing culture in the age of globalization, whilst also being part and parcel of the State and its project of re-imagining national identity that is essential to the post-socialist reform agenda. It describes how the Party-state can effectively use media events to pull social, cultural and political resources and forces together in the name of national rejuvenation. However, it also illustrates how non-state actors can also use reporting of media events to dispute official narratives and advance their own interests and perspectives. It discusses the implications of this interplay between state and non-state actors in the Chinese media for conceptions of identity, citizenship and ethics, identifying the areas of mutual accommodation and appropriation, as well as those of conflict and contestation. It explores these themes with detailed analysis of four important ‘media spectacles’: the media events surrounding the new millennium celebrations; the news reporting of SARS; the media stories about AIDS and SARS; and the media campaign war between the Chinese state and the Falun Gong movement.
Introduction 1. Chinese Media and Modernity 2. Media Event: The New Millennium Celebration 3. Media Stories: The Politics of AIDS and SARS 4. News Event: The SARS Reportage 5. Media Citizenship 6. Media Campaigns: The War over Falun Gong 7. Media Spectacles and Cultural Transformation
Haiqing Yu holds a PhD in cultural/media studies from the University of Melbourne, Australia. Her research interests focus on contemporary Chinese media culture. She now works in the School of Languages and Linguistics at the University of New South Wales.