Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction finalist Winner of the 2014 National Book Award in nonfiction. An Economist Best Book of 2014. A vibrant, colorful, and revelatory inner history of China during a moment of profound transformation From abroad, we often see China as a caricature: a nation of pragmatic plutocrats and ruthlessly dedicated students destined to rule the global economy-or an addled Goliath, riddled with corruption and on the edge of stagnation. What we don't see is how both powerful and ordinary people are remaking their lives as their country dramatically changes. As the Beijing correspondent for The New Yorker, Evan Osnos was on the ground in China for years, witness to profound political, economic, and cultural upheaval. In Age of Ambition, he describes the greatest collision taking place in that country: the clash between the rise of the individual and the Communist Party's struggle to retain control. He asks probing questions: Why does a government with more success lifting people from poverty than any civilization in history choose to put strict restraints on freedom of expression? Why do millions of young Chinese professionals-fluent in English and devoted to Western pop culture-consider themselves "angry youth," dedicated to resisting the West's influence? How are Chinese from all strata finding meaning after two decades of the relentless pursuit of wealth? Writing with great narrative verve and a keen sense of irony, Osnos follows the moving stories of everyday people and reveals life in the new China to be a battleground between aspiration and authoritarianism, in which only one can prevail.
Scarce attention has been paid to the dimension of sound and its essential role in constructing image, culture, and identity in Chinese film and media. China in the Mix fills a critical void with the first book on the sound, languages, scenery, media, and culture in post-Socialist China. In this study, Ying Xiao explores fascinating topics, including appropriations of popular folklore in the Chinese new wave of the 1980s; Chinese rock 'n' roll and youth cinema in fin de siècle China; the political-economic impact of free market imperatives and Hollywood pictures on Chinese film industry and filmmaking in the late twentieth century; the reception and adaptation of hip hop; and the emerging role of Internet popular culture and social media in the early twenty-first century. Xiao examines the articulations and representations of mass culture and everyday life, concentrating on their aural/oral manifestations in contemporary Chinese cinema and in a wide spectrum of media and cultural productions. China in the Mix offers the first comprehensive investigation of Chinese film, expressions, and culture from a unique, cohesive acoustic angle and through the prism of global media-cultural exchange. It shows how the complex, evolving uses of sound (popular music, voice-over, silence, noise, and audio mixing) in film and media reflect and engage the important cultural and socio-historical shifts in contemporary China and in the increasingly networked world. Xiao offers an innovative new conception of Chinese film and media and their audiovisual registers in the historiographical frame of China amid the global landscape.
Cantopop was once the leading pop genre of pan-Chinese popular music around the world. In this pioneering study of Cantopop in English, Yiu-Wai Chu shows how the rise of Cantopop is related to the emergence of a Hong Kong identity and consciousness.
This exciting title in ABC-CLIO's Popular Culture in the Contemporary World series offers the nonspecialist reader the only up-to-date introduction to all facets of popular culture in China. China's release from Maoist austerity has produced an explosion in popular culture. The Chinese have embraced such technologies as television and cell phones and shaped them to their own social context. Understanding modern China requires a thorough knowledge of daily life there. This book presents readers, from high-school and college students to the inquisitive tourist, with that knowledge. The author, a scholar of Chinese culture, draws on his own fieldwork, along with authoritative scholarship and reporting, to give the reader a comprehensive, lively, and accessible introduction to all aspects of Chinese popular culture. The book begins with an introduction to understanding popular culture in China and covers mass media; print media; cinema, film, and video; the Internet; and also discusses the rise of consumption and consumerism. From the modernization of traditional theater to the traditional uses of modern technology, this book presents a guide to the emerging culture of a country that will inevitably become increasingly influential in coming years. * Nearly 100 photographs show various aspects of popular culture in action, including rock concerts, theatrical performances, leisure pursuits, film stills, and more * A glossary and bibliography provide access to terms and to further reading
From the beginning of the sound cinema era, singing actresses captivated Chinese audiences. In Sounding the Modern Woman, Jean Ma shows how their rise to stardom attests to the changing roles of women in urban modernity and the complex symbiosis between the film and music industries. The songstress--whether appearing as an opera actress, showgirl, revolutionary, or country lass--belongs to the lineage of the Chinese modern woman, and her forty year prevalence points to a distinctive gendering of lyrical expression in Chinese film. Ma guides readers through film history by way of the on and off-screen careers of many of the most compelling performers in Chinese film history, such as Zhou Xuan and Grace Chang, revealing the ways that national crises and Cold War conflict shaped their celebrity. As a bridge between the film cultures of prewar Shanghai and postwar Hong Kong, the songstress brings into view a dense web of connections linking these two periods and places that cut across the divides of war, national politics, and geography.