Television in Post-Reform China

Serial Dramas, Confucian Leadership and the Global Television Market

By Ying Zhu

© 2008 – Routledge

178 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415492201
pub: 2009-02-19
US Dollars$54.95
Hardback: 9780415425469
pub: 2008-03-10
US Dollars$168.00

About the Book

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.


'This contribution to comparative and global television studies provides readers with an enhanced level of expertise and insight into some of the most fascinating and significant media dynamics at work in our contemporary culture.' - John Downing, Global Media Research Center, Southern Illinois University, USA

'In this book Ying Zhu provides an outstanding account of television in China. Her synthetic analysis of political economy, industrial practice and program content, all set in historical contexts is a model for future study of any national television system.' - Horace Newcomb, Lambdin Kay Chair for the Peabodys and Director, The George Foster Peabody Awards, The University of Georgia, USA

Table of Contents

1. Chinese Television Drama as Art, Political Discourse, and Transnational Capital 2. History as Political Discourse: Dynastic and Contemporary Anti-Corruption Dramas 3. TV Drama as Political Discourse II: Marching towards the Republic and the Great Emperor Hanwu 4. Dynasty Drama and Serial Narrative 5. Chinese Domestic Theme Dramas, Latin American Telenovelas, and Korean Trendy Dramas 6. Transnational Circulation of Chinese Language Television dramas 7. Building a Harmonious Society through Television Drama: Towards a Chinese Century?

About the Author

Ying Zhu is Associate Professor of Media Culture, City University of New York-Staten Island, USA. She is the author of Chinese Cinema during the Era of Reform: The Ingenuity of the System, and her work has appeared in leading media journals and various edited books.

About the Series

Media, Culture and Social Change in Asia Series

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.

Editorial Board:

  • Gregory N. Evon, University of New South Wales
  • Devleena Ghosh, University of Technology, Sydney
  • Peter Horsfield, RMIT University, Melbourne
  • Chris Hudson, RMIT University, Melbourne
  • K.P. Jayasankar, Unit for Media and Communications, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bombay
  • Michael Keane, Queensland University of Technology
  • Tania Lewis, RMIT University, Melbourne
  • Vera Mackie, University of Melbourne
  • Kama Maclean, University of New South Wales
  • Jane Mills, University of New South Wales
  • Anjali Monteiro, Unit for Media and Communications, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bombay
  • Laikwan Pang, Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • Gary Rawnsley, Aberystwyth University
  • Ming-yeh Rawnsley, University of Leeds
  • Jo Tacchi, RMIT University, Mlebourne
  • Adrian Vickers, University of Sydney
  • Jing Wang, MIT
  • Ying Zhu, City University of New York

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Asia / China
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Media Studies