Chinese Documentaries: From Dogma to Polyphony, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Chinese Documentaries

From Dogma to Polyphony, 1st Edition

By Yingchi Chu


258 pages

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In China, unlike in Western cinema, documentary film, rather than fiction film, has been the dominant mode since 1949. In recent years, documentary TV programmes have experienced a meteoric rise. Arguing that there is a gradual process of 'democratization' in the media, in which documentaries play a significant role, this book discusses various types of Chinese documentaries, under both the planned and the market economy. It especially explores the relationship between documentaries and society, showing how, under the market economy, although the government continues to use the genre as propaganda to promote its ideologies and policies, documentaries are being used as a medium where public concerns and alternative voices can be heard.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Writing about Chinese Documentaries 1. The Documentary Genre and Chinese Documentaries 2. Nationalism and the Birth of Chinese Documentary 3. The Dogmatic Formula 4. Media Reform, Documentary Programming, and the New Citizen 5. Documenting the Law 6. Documenting the Minorities 7. The Many Voices of Chinese Documentary. Conclusion: Documentary as Critical Discourse. Notes. Bibliography. Filmography

About the Author

Yingchi Chu is a Senior Lecturer in Media Studies at Murdoch University, Western Australia. She has published journals and book chapters on Chinese media, and is the author of Hong Kong Cinema: Coloniser, Motherland and Self (2003).

About the Series

Media, Culture and Social Change in Asia

The aim of this series is to publish original, high-quality work by both new and established scholars in the West and the East, on all aspects of media, culture and social change in Asia. New proposals are welcome, and should be sent in the first instance to the series editor, Stephanie Donald, at

Editorial Board:

Gregory N. Evon, University of New South Wales
Devleena Ghosh, University of Technology, Sydney
Michael Keane, Curtin University
Tania Lewis, RMIT University, Melbourne
Vera Mackie, University of Wollongong
Kama Maclean, University of New South Wales

Laikwan Pang, Chinese University of Hong Kong
Gary Rawnsley, Aberystwyth University
Ming-yeh Rawnsley, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
Jo Tacchi, Loughborough University
Adrian Vickers, University of Sydney
Jing Wang, MIT
Ying Zhu, Hong Kong Baptist University



Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / Cultural
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Media Studies