Between Neoliberalism and Postsocialism: Contestations and Negotiations in the Chinese Mediasphere

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In recent years, the term “neoliberalism” started to replace the term “postsocialism” in describing China’s seismic transformations in the post-Mao decades, especially with Ong’s and Harvey’s influential works. Yet it remains debatable whether China is becoming neoliberal and how the specific conditions of postsocialism in China are interwoven and negotiating with the process of neoliberalization. Some scholars contest that the neoliberal imposition of financial and monetary sovereignty over postcolonial nations has been regionally specific. They argue, as China adopts a combined mode of governance, its economy a mix of state control and privatization, the application of “neoliberalism” to China should be cautious.

This panel will take up this discussion in relation to the national and transnational media production and consumption of China. The media systems in China have been going through drastic changes of marketization and commercialization since the mid-1980s. Along with the booming of the internet culture and business since the millennium, the Chinese mediasphere provides not only a perspective to understanding the transformed political economy in organizing cultural production, but also instances for observing the shifting horizons of ethics and sensibility today. Huang’s paper focuses on Li Shaohong’s films, the production of interior space, and postsocialist femininity; Donald examines Little Moth and the global population displacement; Yang examines the tension between the nation-based ideological frames of House of Cards and its transnational reception; Liu looks into the copyright contentions surrounding internet novels and their cross-media adaptions to foreground the contradictions between neoliberal privatization and intellectual commons.


ConferenceAssociation for Asian Studies Conference (AAS-in-Asia 2017)
Country/TerritoryKorea, Republic of
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