Corruption and Officialdom: Chinese Dynasty TV Drama as Political Discourse

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter focuses on the transformation of politically charged dynasty dramas from anti-corruption to officialdom, which registers the shifting popular cultural ethos from righteous indignation to resignation that takes corruption as inevitable and part and parcel of a modern bureaucracy. It explains the absence of China’s officialdom drama in its current incarnation amid the new round of anti-graft campaigns under China’s new leader, Xi Jingping. In a new twist, several former or current officials tried their hand at writing novels that injected their own experiences into the world of officialdom and the circles of power, a number of which have gone on to become best sellers. Officialdom novels deal precisely with the culture and structure of Chinese officialdom, from the trivialities of government affairs to the heart-wrenching struggles of the protagonists in their compulsive abuses of power.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge Handbook of Chinese Culture and Society
EditorsKevin Latham
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781315180243, 9781351718769, 9781351718745, 9781351718752
ISBN (Print)9780415830584
Publication statusPublished - 27 Feb 2020


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