The state and the market: Chinese TV serials and the case of Woju (Dwelling narrowness)

Ruth Y Y HUNG*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


The production, consumption, and state control of Chinese TV serial drama can be seen as an instrument of power and profit maximization as well as a medium for mass education and homogenization in the form of popular culture. The serial drama Woju (Dwelling narrowness) (2009) exemplifies the ways in which a prime-time TV serial in twenty-first-century China is a politically, socially, and commercially significant enterprise. Since the 1980s, primetime serials have emerged as a distinctly successful medium with and through which the Chinese party-state exercises ideological control by entertainment rather than oppression. Indeed, not only did Woju enjoy huge audience popularity, it also benefited from considerable tolerance of the State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television (SARFT), which, according to the website Danwai, allowed the drama to "slip" through its guidelines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-187
Number of pages33
JournalBoundary 2
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2011

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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