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Mainstream Culture RefocusedTelevision Drama, Society, and the Production of Meaning in Reform-Era China$
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Xueping Zhong

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780824834173

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824834173.001.0001

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Also beyond Romance

Also beyond Romance

Women, Desire, and the Ideology of Happiness in “Family-Marriage Drama”

(p.123) Chapter Five Also beyond Romance
Mainstream Culture Refocused

Xueping Zhong

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter examines the relationship between women and their desire for happiness as represented in the “family-marriage” drama (jiating hunyin ju), especially those scripted or adapted from stories by women writers. It explores the gendered social and ideological implications in the relationship between urban women and consumer-culture-defined “private” domains such as love, marriage, and family. Ot looks into the pursuit of happiness and its related discontent in relation to the difference between women’s writings in the decade of the 1980s and televisual dramas based on women’s writings popularly received in the 1990s and beyond. Three decades since the start of economic reform, the “happiness”-informed female identity has generated new questions, challenges, and problems with regards to gender politics in contemporary China. While the ideology of happiness is powerfully advertised and subliminally alluring, it has also redrawn social domains for women in which they tend to find themselves being identified mainly with sexuality, love, marriage, and family.

Keywords:   Chinese women, marriage, family life, happiness, Chinese television dramas, women’s writings, gender politics, urban women

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