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Title:Cultural governance in contemporary China: popular culture, digital technology, and the state
Author(s):Li, Luzhou
Director of Research:Nerone, John
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Nerone, John
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Ciafone, Amanda; Ono, Kent A.; Schiller, Dan
Department / Program:Inst of Communications Rsch
Discipline:Communications and Media
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Cultural Governance
Popular Culture
Digital Technology
Online Video
Abstract:This dissertation is a study of the historical formation and transformation of the Chinese online audiovisual industry under forces of strategic political calculations, expanding market relations, and growing social participation, and the cultural ramifications of this process, especially the kind of transformations digital technologies have wrought on the state-TV-station-centered mode of cultural production/distribution and regulatory apparatuses. Through this case, the project aims to theorize the changing mode of cultural governance of post-socialist regimes in the context of digital capitalism. Using mixed methods of documentary research, interviews with industry practitioners, participant observations of trade fairs/festivals, and critical discourse analyses of popular cultural texts, the study finds that the traditional broadcasting and the online video sectors are structured along two different political economic mechanisms. While the former is dominated by domestic capital and heavily regulated by state agencies, the latter is supported by transnational capital and less regulated. Digital technologies coupled with transnational capital thus generate new cultural flows, processes, and practices, which produces a heterogeneous and contested cultural sphere in the digital environment that substantially differs from the one created by traditional television. The development of such a sphere in a cultural environment that was historically policed suggests that the Chinese state strategically configures the cultural realm into multiple zones delineated by technological forms. Cultural zoning allows the state to accommodate needs in relation to transnational forces while simultaneously retaining socialist legacies through state media. Zoning technology demonstrates flexibility in cultural governance and thus illuminates the extraordinary resilience of post-socialist regimes amid neoliberal globalization.
Issue Date:2015-07-14
Rights Information:Copyright 2015 Luzhou Li
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-29
Date Deposited:August 201

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