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A socialist superwoman for the new era: Chinese television and the changing ideals of femininity

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journal contribution
posted on 21.05.2019, 11:00 authored by Yingzi Wang, Sabina MiheljSabina Mihelj
This paper examines changing representations of women in Chinese television dramas since the early 1990s and interprets them within a framework of global socialist media cultures, considering both domestic developments and transnational trends. Drawing on the analysis of three selected dramas, it traces the trajectory of televised femininity from exemplary socialist worker-citizens devoted to family and community, to more individualized middle-class urbanites. It is tempting to see this transformation as an outcome of China’s integration into the global capitalist economy, the attendant retreat of the party-state from the private realm, and the infusion of Western cultural gender ideals. Yet this interpretation downplays important continuities, and misses intriguing parallels with TV dramas produced in socialist Eastern Europe. The argument pays particular attention to the enduring appeal of the socialist-style superwoman who shoulders the double burden of a professional career and unpaid domestic work while also acting as a discerning citizen-consumer.

History

School

  • Social Sciences

Department

  • Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies

Published in

Feminist Media Histories

Volume

5

Issue

3

Pages

36-59

Citation

WANG, Y. and MIHELJ, S., 2019. A socialist superwoman for the new era: Chinese television and the changing ideals of femininity. Feminist Media Histories, 5 (3), pp.36-59.

Publisher

© University of California Press

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Acceptance date

11/05/2019

Publication date

2019-07-09

Notes

Published as WANG, Y. and MIHELJ, S., 2019. A socialist superwoman for the new era: Chinese television and the changing ideals of femininity. Feminist Media Histories, 5 (3), pp.36-59. © 2019 by the Regents of the University of California. Copying and permissions notice: Authorization to copy this content beyond fair use (as specified in Sections 107 and 108 of the U. S. Copyright Law) for internal or personal use, or the internal or personal use of specific clients, is granted by the Regents of the University of California for libraries and other users, provided that they are registered with and pay the specified fee via Rightslink® or directly with the Copyright Clearance Center.

Language

en