The Voice of China: Interactive Television and Participatory Audiences in Mainland China

Yao, Xin (2017) The Voice of China: Interactive Television and Participatory Audiences in Mainland China. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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In 2012, the most popular reality TV show in China was The Voice of China (TVoC). It is an adaptation of The Voice of Holland, the format of which has been traded to many countries. Unlike its international versions, audiences cannot vote in TVoC due to government regulations. This research focuses on audience engagement with TVoC (2012), in light of this crucial difference. To investigate how audiences engage and make meanings with the show, this thesis is the first study approaches audience engagement in China by examining the tensions between government media policies, industry strategies and audience reception. Building on existing literature on media convergence and participatory culture in the West, this thesis argues that Internet technologies alongside social media enable and stimulate individual critical thinking and creativities which resist structural constraints such as censorship and commercialisation. Although direct online political participation is censored in China, audiences express and negotiate power as ways to construct political values. These online engagements bring new perspectives to understand participatory culture and ‘empowerment’ of audiences. Using political economy frameworks, this thesis highlights the power of government media policies in shaping TV industry and media content. Analysis of how the industry interprets and implements policies demonstrates how production companies use social media in attracting and cultivating audiences as part of promotional strategies. Adopting a historical reception approach with online ethnography, this study analyses how Chinese audiences engage with TVoC differently on two social media platforms: Sina Weibo and Baidu Tieba. It finds the active engagement of Chinese audiences/fans can be read as grassroots resistance, which can be achieved through different practices through different platforms. The multiple-level analysis of this research provides a new and comprehensive approach to the transformational nature of online participatory culture with regard to reality television in non-Western contexts

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Art, Media and American Studies
Depositing User: Bruce Beckett
Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2018 13:51
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2018 13:51


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