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The Voice of a New China: Democratic Behaviors in Chinese Reality Shows Super Girl and Happy Girls

Huang, Wan-chun (2016) The Voice of a New China: Democratic Behaviors in Chinese Reality Shows Super Girl and Happy Girls. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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China’s media have long served the Communist Party’s political purposes, and China’s television has always been under government censorship. One of China’s first reality shows, Super Girl, showed too much of the “democratic” idea according to the Communist Party, which then banned it in 2006. Nevertheless, the show, in effect, introduced the participatory audience, and Chinese audiences became consumers who not only actively sought new information but also actively participated in a given show. Now, because of today’s new media technologies and their convergence, the relationship between producers and consumers has been both reshaped and consolidated, empowering the rights of the participatory audience and spurring democratic ideas in Chinese society. The Chinese consumers nowadays are thus able to participate in both creating the media text and at the same time collectively making their own meaning in that text. Because of such an empowered audience, China’s reality shows have become a powerful platform and conduit that allow the voice of the Chinese people to be heard. Therefore, in this paper, I will examine four aspects of the Chinese reality shows in an era of “media convergence”: first, the new relationship between China’s government and media producers; second, the intense cooperation between Chinese new media producers and consumers; third, the public voice created by new Chinese audiences on new media platforms on the Internet; and fourth, the limitations and possibilities of democratic participation in Chinese reality shows.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Huang, Wan-chunwah17@pitt.eduWAH17
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairQian,
Committee MemberRawski,
Committee MemberZboray,
Committee MemberZboray,
Date: 20 June 2016
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 8 April 2016
Approval Date: 20 June 2016
Submission Date: 13 April 2016
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 62
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > East Asian Studies
Degree: MA - Master of Arts
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: China's reality shows; Democracy; Media convergence
Date Deposited: 20 Jun 2016 15:31
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:32


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