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Main page » Non-Fiction » In the Red. On Contemporary Chinese Culture

In the Red. On Contemporary Chinese Culture


The author, a senior research fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies at the Australian National University and the author of three books (including Shades of Mao, M.E. Sharpe, 1996), has observed Chinese popular culture for 30 years. His book may seem too long for a work that focuses only on the ten years in China since the 1989 Tiananmen mass protest movement, but it has a swift and lively pace. Barm?'s thesisAthat popular culture has developed ways for people to express dissatisfaction without attacking the governmentAis substantiated through his analyses of music, comic books, television shows, ad jingles, screen savers, and T-shirts. One example that epitomizes this theme is a slogan on a T-shirt, fanzhe ne, bie li woA"I'm pissed, leave me alone." He discusses the ways in which self-repression (and self-loathing) has become a form of high art and provides unprecedented discussion of the alienated fringe element that has been observed but not understood by Western journalists and China watchers. This work has a broader perspective than Jianying Zha's China Pop (LJ 4/1/95) and would thus be an appropriate selection for libraries that focus on international relations, China, and communications.

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Tags: popular, culture, books, author, years, years, popular, Chinese