Countryside Fantasy in the Context of UrbanRural Divided post-Mao ChinaJournal: Athens Journal of Mass Media and Communications (Vol.3, No. 2)
Publication Date: 2017-04-01
Authors : Cheng Han;
Page : 131-148
Keywords : countryside; ideological fantasy; ideology in-and-for itself; original culture; The Exchange Programme;
This paper focuses on an urban-rural experimental reality television show, The Exchange Programme. Within the context of the contradictions and struggles between capitalism and socialism currently faced by the Chinese government, I argue the programme's representation of the urban youth allegorically reveals the changing "hybridity" of Chinese cities, with the city becoming a battle field, a "third space" of culture and discourse, while the countryside acts as the nation's "original culture." In addition, applying Zizek's theory on ideology, I argue that the programme actually suggests the existence of a socialist "ideological fantasy," which structures the social reality and proves that the socialist ideology is an ideology in-and-foritself. It is the force regulating the ruthless market at an unconscious level in an era of economic globalization.
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