Celebrity Philanthropy: The Cultivation of China's HIV/AIDS Heroes

Hong Kong University Press
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Celebrity in China, 2010, First, pp. 85 - 102
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In the context of global celebrity activism, this chapter focuses on celebrity mechanisms in China's public health realm. It first examines the emergence of celebrity activism on health issues in the international arena and within the controversial and problematic state management of HIV/AIDS in China. It then turns to the rise of 'HIV/AIDS Heroes' in the People's Republic of China (PRC) where the co-production and consumption of what Lisa Ann Richey and Stefano Ponte (2008: 711-29) call 'aid celebrities' now occurs. I focus on one of China's 'AIDS heroes', the actor Pu Cunxin, drawing from over 300 articles written on Pu over the past five years, as well as from personal observation during fieldwork in China in 2003-08, to explore the emergence and significance of his fame within its local context.
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