The genesis, structure and transformation of the contemporary Chinese cinematic field: Global linkages and national refractions

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Abstract

By putting to work Pierre Bourdieu's approach to the 'field of cultural production', I analyze interactions of politics and economy as they play out in what I call the 'contemporary Chinese cinematic field'. How has the Chinese field of film production emerged, stabilized and changed in the era of Reform and Opening? Through archival data and in-depth interviews, I answer the question by discussing four sub-fields of film production, namely political 'main melody film', commercial film, 'international Chinese film' and independent film. How has globalization affected the transformation of the cinematic field? Contra Bourdieu's emphasis on the weakening autonomy of various national social fields under globalization, I highlight the processes through which globalization is appropriated by social actors in the cinematic field to alter domestic power relations. This article moves towards a better understanding of the field of cultural production amidst global linkages and national refractions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-108
Number of pages24
JournalGlobal Media and Communication
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Apr 1

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Keywords

  • Bourdieu
  • China
  • Field theory
  • Film
  • Globalization
  • Media institutions
  • Political economy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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