9780822361886: Hardback
Release Date: 2nd September 2016

9780822362043: Paperback
Release Date: 2nd September 2016

64 illustrations

Dimensions: 152 x 229

Number of Pages: 324

Series Console-ing Passions

Duke University Press Books


Television and Transforming Lives in Asia

Tania Lewis, Fran Martin, and Wanning Sun analyze the complex social and cultural significance of lifestyle television programming in China, India, Taiwan, and Singapore, showing how it adds insight into late Asian modernity, media cultures, and broad shifts in the nature of private life, identity, citizenship, and social engagement.
Hardback / £92.00
Paperback / £24.99

Yoga gurus on lifestyle cable channels targeting time-pressured Indian urbanites; Chinese dating shows promoting competitive individualism; Taiwanese domestic makeover formats combining feng shui with life planning advice: Asian TV screens are increasingly home to a wild proliferation of popular factual programs providing lifestyle guidance to viewers. In Telemodernities Tania Lewis, Fran Martin, and Wanning Sun demonstrate how lifestyle-oriented popular factual television illuminates key aspects of late modernities in South and East Asia, offering insights not only into early twenty-first-century media cultures but also into wider developments in the nature of public and private life, identity, citizenship, and social engagement. Drawing on extensive interviews with television industry professionals and audiences across China, India, Taiwan, and Singapore, Telemodernities uses popular lifestyle television as a tool to help us understand emergent forms of identity, sociality, and capitalist modernity in Asia.

Acknowledgments  vii

Introduction: Telemodernities  1

1. Lifestyle Television in Context: Media Industries, Cultural Economies, and Genre Flows  25

2. Local versus Metropolitan Television in China: Stratification of Needs, Taste, and Spatial Imagination  52

3. Here, There, and Everywhere: Mediascapes, Geographic Imaginaries, and Indian Television  82

4. Imagining Global Mobility: TLC Taiwan  106

5. Gurus, Babas, and Daren: Popular Experts on Chinese and Indian Advice TV  126

6. Magical Modernities: Spiritual Advice TV in India and Taiwan  157

7. Risky Romance: Navigating Late Modern Identities and Relationships on Chinese and Indian Lifestyle TV  196

8. A Self to Believe In: Negotiating Femininities in Sinophone Lifestyle Advice TV  222

Conclusion: Negotiating Modernities through Lifestyle Television  254

Notes  271

Works Cited  281

Index  305

Tania Lewis is Associate Professor and Deputy Dean of Research in the School of Media and Communication at RMIT University (Melbourne).

Fran Martin is Associate Professor and Reader in Cultural Studies at the University of Melbourne.

Wanning Sun is Professor of Media and Communication Studies at the University of Technology Sydney.

"Focused on the uncannily familiar-yet-strange world of Indian- and Chinese-language lifestyle television, this ambitious study asks what modernity is today, now that the engine room of global change has shifted decisively away from the West. Based on years of careful audience research, textual analysis and producer interviews, the answers are never less than eye-opening and, more often than not, mind-blowing. A revelation."

Chris Berry, King’s College London

"In this groundbreaking book Tania Lewis, Fran Martin, and Wanning Sun offer a highly nuanced account of television history in India, China, and Taiwan and of emerging Asian modernities, as well as a most welcome complication of the dominant theories of globalization and neoliberalism. Emphasizing the importance of location and the specifics of national and regional contexts for television, Telemodernities has the potential to significantly change the conversation about media, modernity, and Asia."

Graeme Turner, author of
Re-Inventing the Media

"[A] welcome addition to the existing scholarly work on media and Asia studies.... Telemodernities is a nicely imagined, extensively planned and pursued study with a triangulated design, combining industry interviews with textual analyses and audience interviews."

Ying Zhu
The China Quarterly

"Telemodernities is a valuable addition to a growing body of scholarship.... A fascinatingly detailed comparative study of lifestyle television in China, India, and Taiwan, the book seeks to decenter the normative modernity of the West, interrogating instead the role television plays in constituting and interpreting multiple 'modernities.'"

Tilottama Karlekar
Feminist Media Studies

"The scope of the book is expansive, covering all three aspects of media studies: production, content, and audience analysis. The thick  description helps immensely with the goal of showing how modernities are interpreted, negotiated, and confronted in nuanced ways...."

Yang Bai
International Journal of Communication

"A welcome addition to the existing scholarly work on media and Asia studies. . . . We have yet to see another study on this scale comparing local engagements with a particular television genre in Asia or anywhere else. . . . A nicely imagined, extensively planned and pursued study." 

Ying Zhu
China Quarterly