历史观看的政治: 中国大陆阅听人对当代中国电视历史剧的解读

Translated title of the contribution: The politics of watching history: Chinese audiences’ responses to historical drama on contemporary Chinese television

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Abstract

This article presents a qualitative audience study that examines how historical dramas are understood, socially valued, and culturally interpreted in contemporary China. The study takes into account personal, social, historical, and cultural factors that influence viewers' engagement with this television genre. The author conducted fieldwork audience research between late September 2007 and early April 2008 in two urban settings in China: Beijing and Changsha. The research involved 10 focus groups with over 50 respondents from young adult and middle-aged audience groups.

The author identifies two text-based interpretive frameworks that are adopted by the respondents across all focus group interviews to understand and evaluate the historical drama text. These frameworks include the framework of fact/fiction and the framework of 'classic-ness'. By using these frameworks, the respondents navigate the historical dramas and form their interpretations based on the distinction between factual elements and fictional elements, as well as their perception of the dramas as embodying classic qualities.

In conclusion, the author argues that the relationship between the historical drama genre and its audiences represents imaginative conflicts and ideological clashes in the treatment of the state as a totalitarian entity in China's television culture sphere. This suggests that the historical dramas provoke discussions and reflections on the role of the state in Chinese society, reflecting the complex dynamics between the genre and its audience in contemporary China.
Translated title of the contributionThe politics of watching history: Chinese audiences’ responses to historical drama on contemporary Chinese television
Original languageChinese
Pages (from-to)149-177
Number of pages29
JournalCommunication and Society
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014

Keywords

  • Contemporary Chinese television historical drama; Mainland Chinese audiences; Audience research; Cultural competences; Classic-ness

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