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Wang Shuo and the commercialisation of contemporary Chinese culture

Lin Wang, (2006) Wang Shuo and the commercialisation of contemporary Chinese culture. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



This thesis examines the commercialisation of Chinese culture that has taken place over the past twenty years in mainland China. It explores the contribution of Wang Shuo, a cultural figure who straddles different fields of culture, moving from literature to the ultimate mass culture medium of television, this study plots Wang Shuo' s development from educational failure, to business failure, to fiction writer, film & TV editor, film director and cultural critic and analyst. His stories, films, TV series and articles have caused shock-waves throughout national cultural circles as he has transformed the terms of the debate from academic discourse to a validation of the role of the market in the culture field. Although Wang Shuo has not been labelled as a dissident, his approach to the culture market has had a more subversive effect on official ideology that those overt dissidents who have had to live in exile or have been imprisoned. He has utilised the language of official ideology to satirise the authorities, turning the ideology and its supporters into figures of fun. Yet his own goals have been strictly personal and economic ones. The authorities recognize the value of Wang Shuo's work in the cultural market but at the same time distrust his works and place him under strict censorship. Examining the way Wang Shuo and people surround him have succeeded in different fields of cultural achievement is a mirror to understanding the process of the transformation of contemporary Chinese culture from a socialist state-controlled culture to a market-oriented mass culture industry.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:2006
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:09 Sep 2011 09:49

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