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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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PRINTED FROM HAWAII SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hawaii.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hawaii University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HSO for personal use.date: 11 November 2019

In Whose Name?

In Whose Name?

“Anticorruption Dramas” and Their Ideological Implications

(p.73) Chapter Three In Whose Name?
Mainstream Culture Refocused

Xueping Zhong

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter focuses on the anticorruption televisual subgenre, which enjoys a much wider viewership than its counterpart, the anticorruption novel. Many of the anticorruption novels by such writers as Lu Tianming, Zhang Ping, and Zhou Meisen have been adapted into television drama. In some cases, such as that of Lu Tianming, what was originally conceived as a television drama script became a novel. This genre crossing in popular representations of corruption was partially driven by the market and partially attributable to the fact that popular culture’s representations of anticorruption themes essentially functioned as popular expressions of discontent. The chapter examines the “formulaic” narrative style of the anticorruption novel and its mass culture adaptations by, first, fully acknowledging its melodramatic characteristics and, then, examining the melodramatic codes and the politics (and their historicity) within. More specifically, it explores the extent to which televisual representations of corruption and anticorruption activities pertain to some frequently evoked notions such as fa (law), fazhi (rule by law), fazhi (rule of law), quanli (power), and quanli (rights), and various structural, ideological, and sociocultural issues related to them.

Keywords:   Chinese television dramas, anticorruption drama, anticorruption novel, corruption, rule of law, power, rights

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