Pop Culture China!

Media, Arts, and Lifestyle

by Kevin Latham


To westerners, Maoist China was a picture of gray homogeneity. As China emerges from drab Maoism, its popular culture presents a bright tapestry of media, entertainment, communications, sports, food, and consumerism. This book displays for the general reader the colorful cloth that is modern Chinese pop culture.

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Cover image for Pop Culture China!

July 2007


Pages 384
Volumes 1
Size 7x10
Topics Geography and World Cultures/Culture

This exciting title in ABC-CLIO’s Popular Culture in the Contemporary World series offers the nonspecialist reader the only up-to-date introduction to all facets of popular culture in China.

China’s release from Maoist austerity has produced an explosion in popular culture. The Chinese have embraced such technologies as television and cell phones and shaped them to their own social context. Understanding modern China requires a thorough knowledge of daily life there. This book presents readers, from high-school and college students to the inquisitive tourist, with that knowledge.

The author, a scholar of Chinese culture, draws on his own fieldwork, along with authoritative scholarship and reporting, to give the reader a comprehensive, lively, and accessible introduction to all aspects of Chinese popular culture. The book begins with an introduction to understanding popular culture in China and covers mass media; print media; cinema, film, and video; the Internet; and also discusses the rise of consumption and consumerism. From the modernization of traditional theater to the traditional uses of modern technology, this book presents a guide to the emerging culture of a country that will inevitably become increasingly influential in coming years.


  • Nearly 100 photographs show various aspects of popular culture in action, including rock concerts, theatrical performances, leisure pursuits, film stills, and more
  • A glossary and bibliography provide access to terms and to further reading


  • Provides historical context for modern cultural developments—the modern as manifestation of the traditional
  • Offers a single-volume, comprehensive reference for all aspects of Chinese pop culture, unlike similar, but narrower works
  • Covers mass media, consumerism, sports, food, the Internet, music, theater, and martial arts
Author Info

Kevin Latham is a lecturer in social anthropology of media at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, London, England. His research has covered traditional and contemporary mass media including Chinese theater, television, newspaper journalism, cinema, and the Internet, and he has written numerous articles on Chinese media, consumption, and popular culture.



"This title is highly recommended for academic, public, and high-school libraries."—Booklist

"This work is recommended for libraries with a collection of Asian studies."—ARBA

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