The first systematic, comprehensive and critical English-language study of radio in China, this book documents a historical understanding of Chinese radio from the early twentieth century to the present.

Covering both public matters and private lives, Radio and Social Transformation in China analyses a range of themes from healthcare, migration and education, to intimacy, family and friendship. Through a concentrated and thorough scrutiny of a variety of new genres and radio practices in post-Mao China, it also investigates the interaction between radio and social change, particularly in the era of economic reform. Building on the core theoretical concept of ‘compressed modernity’, each of the radio genres explored is shown to embody China’s efforts to achieve modernity, while simultaneously exemplifying radio’s capacity to manage the challenges that have arisen from the country’s distinctive and perhaps unique process of modernization.

Written in an engaging style, this book makes an important contribution to radio history internationally. As such, it will be of great interest to students and scholars of broadcast media, radio and Communication Studies, as well as Chinese culture and society.

chapter 1|27 pages

Transforming radio in China

Introduction to an understudied medium

chapter 2|29 pages

Radio and a revolutionary China

From the Republic of China era to the Mao era

chapter 3|35 pages

Radio news and the articulation of one voice

Continuity and transformation of China National Radio’s Channel One

chapter 4|32 pages

Late night talkback radio

The production of intimacy 1 in post-Mao China

chapter 5|29 pages

Health infomercial radio

Privatization, medicine and self-responsibility in post-Mao China

chapter 6|28 pages

Drive radio and the construction of urban middle-class identities

From traffic radio to the ‘Car World’

chapter 7|26 pages

Digital soundwork in contemporary China

Uncertainty, listening and the betterment of ‘a deficient self’