The Meandering Chinese Culture Industry: the Beclouded Drift of Publishing and Cinema

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Kim, Yeongku
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서울대학교 국제학연구소
Journal of International and Area Studies, Vol.4 No.1, pp. 55-72
The investigation into the current Chinese culture industry can be an effective way through which we can describe the current Chinese cultural status more practically. The idea of the culture industry is based on the Chinese industrial classification. This article will explore some aspects of the Chinese culture industry by using both publishing and cinema as examples.

Since 1978, the Chinese culture industry has developed along with the Opening and Reform Policies. However, the growth rate of the Chinese culture industry in the post-1978 period has jagged behind the growth of both the GDP and manufacturing. The Chinese culture industry is experiencing hard times because of various factors including the wide spread use of color TV, the reduction of spare time, the complex administrative restictions in China and the flourishing black market.

In controlling the culture industry, the CCP seems to prefer to manipulate it through their political agendas rather than to apply “law and order” to it. The party and government authorities which administer the manipulation system are closely interrelated and they rarely conflict with each other in the course of making decisions. The system turned out to be a powerful tool in the resolute readjustment after the turmoil of 1989. The invisible self-censorship gives this system an effectiveness as well as efficiency. This same self-censorship stabilizes Chinese society in company with the manipulation system. The CCP’s conservative political attitude toward the culture industry seems to be almost inevitable as long as the CCP leaders stick to a definite separation between politics and economics and an unbalanced national development strategy.

The future prospect for the Chinese culture industry is not promising except perhaps for cassette tape and disc production. The CCP’s plans and proposals lack practicality, and the arguments of Chinese intellectuals are restricted. Furthermore, the global cultural environment which exclusively carves the economy in extreme relief depreciates the dynamism of the Chinese culture industry.
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Graduate School of International Studies (국제대학원)Dept. of International Studies (국제학과)Journal of International and Area StudiesJournal of International and Area Studies vol.04 (1997)
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