Cultural localization and its local discontents: Contested evaluations of cantopop electronic dance music

Matthew M T CHEW*

*Corresponding author for this work

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

5 Citations (Scopus)


Cultural localization-modifications of the contents and meanings of globally imported cultural products by local audience and producers-has been one of the major research foci in global media studies, sociology of globalization, and cultural anthropology. Despite its broad applicability and theoretical utility, the concept of cultural localization actually remains a highly under-theorized and non-empirically grounded concept. This essay aims to enrich the study of it through examining two middle-range aspects-a cultural political aspect and a cultural economic one-of localizing electronic dance music in Hong Kong. I find that Cantopop electronic dance music was negatively received by local audience because of its cultural conservatism and its limited production volume. I elaborate the structural causes of the two weaknesses and argue that they are commonly found in cultural localization processes around the contemporary world. The findings compel us to rethink cultural localization in more open-ended and complex terms than current studies do. They also suggest that it is premature to suppose that cultural localization is dissolving global-local power diff erentials or rendering global-local distinctions meaningless.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSocial Stratification in Chinese Societies
EditorsKwok-bun Chan, Agnes S. Ku, Yin-wah Chu
PublisherEntomological Society of Canada
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9789004181922
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Publication series

NameSocial Transformations in Chinese Societies
ISSN (Print)1871-2673

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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