Entertainment and the public sphere : the convergence of popular culture and politics in China's public sphere and cyberspace

Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Sociology

Content Description

1 online resource (iv, 220 pages)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Jennifer Stromer-Galley

Committee Members

Ronald Jacobs, Richard Lachmann, Kelli Maxwell


China, entertainment media, Internet, politics, popular culture, public sphere, Popular culture, Politics in art, Politics and culture

Subject Categories

Communication | Mass Communication | Sociology


This project systematically examines discussions surrounding a popular talent show in China, Super Girl, both in the official public sphere and the informal public spheres created by new media forums. With this comparison, I revise dominant conceptions and empirical perspectives in examining the public sphere and modern media, both old and new. I introduce cultural revisions proposed by theories of cultural citizenship and aesthetic public sphere, which are in urgent need of systematic empirical evidence. Through a close textual analysis, I argue that discussions about entertainment media experiences are often intertwined with serious civic discourses, as they extend into the expression of political values, social, and cultural concerns. This is a particularly significant finding for authoritarian political systems whose political public spheres are more tightly controlled.


Requested ProQuest takedown; no end date

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