Radio listening and the changing formations of the public in China

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Journal Article
Communication and the Public, 2017, 2 (4), pp. 320 - 334
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© The Author(s) 2017. As a sound medium which once enjoyed a dominant status in Mao-era China, radio has undergone tremendous transformation over the past several decades. Throughout the history from socialist era to post-Mao-era China, radio has much to tell about listening as a social practice and about the formation of the public. This article asks how radio listening was defined and managed as a form of public engagement at different historical stages in Chinese Communist Party–led China through the prism of several aspects of radio listening, including radio as a material object, the location and the time of radio listening, and radio genres which dominated the time. We seek to identify the forces that shape the radio landscape, as well as the changing conceptions of listening and the public in China, as the nation transformed itself from a collectivized and communally oriented society to one featuring privatization, individualization, and globalization.
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