The production and reproduction of Chinese and Taiwanese identities in Taiwan’s popular songs

Wai Chung HO*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

This article charts the impact of Chinese and Taiwanese identities on popular songs in Taiwan in three major historical periods: the Japanese colonization between 1895 and 1945; the Kuomintang (KMT) rule between 1945 and 1987; and the cultivation of Taiwanese identity since the 1980s. By exploring the historical processes of nation-building on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, this article demonstrates how socio-political transformations have produced, reproduced and mediated both Chinese nationalism and Taiwanese identity, and the role of popular songs in that process. It shows how, since 1895, the themes of popular songs have developed through processes of ‘de-Japanizing’ to ‘de-Sinolizing’ to ‘Taiwanizing’. The political and cultural forces which have affected both Mainland Chinese and Taiwanese identities are evident in the changing market for Taiwan’s popular songs. At a period when questions of political and cultural identity are still hotly debated in Taiwan, popular songs now seek to integrate its multiple identities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)518-537
Number of pages20
JournalSocial History
Volume40
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2015

Scopus Subject Areas

  • History

User-Defined Keywords

  • Chinese identity
  • Chinese nationalism
  • popular songs
  • Taiwanese identity
  • Taiwanese nationalism

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