‘My health is my own business’: Radio, television and advice media in post-Mao China

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Journal Article
International Journal of Cultural Studies, 2018, 21 (2), pp. 139 - 154
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© 2016, © The Author(s) 2016. The withdrawal of state funding from public health care in post-Mao China has resulted in individuals taking responsibility for their own health. In this article, we first trace the emergence and development of the main health-related advice genres on radio and television during the latter half of the reform era (from the 1990s onwards). We then discuss the content, form and themes of health information and advice, first on radio and then on television. Drawing on interviews with radio and television producers and audience members, as well as a number of medical practitioners, we take an approach that is at once political-economic and cultural. Our intention is to uncover the distinctive challenges facing Chinese individuals as risk subjects, and the strategies they adopt in response, thus highlighting the major ways in which specific media and cultural forms and practices are constitutive of China’s unique journey to modernization.
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