In Search of Intimacy in China: The Emergence of Advice Media for the Privatized Self

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Journal Article
Communication, Culture and Critique, 2017, 10 (1), pp. 20 - 38
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© 2016 International Communication Association One consequence of China's post-Mao economic reforms was the radical privatization of the public sector. Unshackled from the prescribed social norms and commitments of socialism, individuals were thrown into a hitherto unavailable space in which they could experiment with different modes of self-formation. With this came an urgent need for guidance to help citizens find their bearings in the new moral-sexual-economic order. Tracking the emergence of some new radio and television formats over the past 3 decades, and taking an approach that is at once political-economic and cultural, we analyze the role of the Chinese media in producing advice on love and personal relationships in the reform era, paying attention to the paradoxical relationship between intimacy construction and advice provision.
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