Interactions: Studies in Communication & Culture. Dec2016, Vol. 7 Issue 3, p297-310. 14p.
Radio broadcasting, Socialism -- China -- History, Government ownership, and Political parties -- History
When socialist China was founded in 1949, led by the Chinese Communist Party and with Mao Zedong as the leader, radio was the most technologically viable medium with little presence of television. As propaganda is the dominant conception mobilized to interpret the role of media in Mao-era China (1949-76), radio is no exception. However, we still do not fully understand how radio worked and the degree to which programming shaped both public and individual life during this era. Addressing these questions is crucial if we are to explore the involvement of radio in modernizing Mao-era China beyond propaganda. Drawing largely upon Chinese material available pertinent to radio in Mao-era China, this article starts by examining the circumstances in which a state-owned radio system was constructed. It then moves on to scrutinize the materiality and forms of listening exercised in Chinese everyday lived reality. It investigates: several radio genres that were prominent during the Maoist era; and; the multiple dimensions that guided radio's production of a socialist subject. Taking the historical context and specific radio practices into account, this article aims to address issues - both theoretical and empirical - to localize the relationship between radio and modernization in socialist China. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]