Popular Culture and Society in Contemporary China
Prerequisite: Postgraduate standing
Popular culture refers to a wide range of cultural practices and genres that are consumed by us in our daily lives. While we usually perceive it as a source of entertainment, consumption, and fun, it is in fact much more than that. Popular culture is a powerful force that helps shape social class, nationalism, gender, race, and other socio-cultural constructs of society. It constitutes a major industry and a significant contributor to the GDP. It is the base of youth subcultures, symbolic resistance, and alternative discourses. It is a major factor that shapes contemporary urban formation. And it is a major link through which the local and the global impact on each other. This course introduces students to these sociological and interdisciplinary approaches to understand how popular culture impact on China. By revealing the powerful social functions and impacts of popular culture, these approaches will equip and encourage students to critically assess their own daily consumption of popular culture.