From the perspective of critical cultural sociology, this book delves into the intertwining relations of cultural transformation and social evolution, illuminating contemporary Chinese culture’s landscape and underlying logic since the 1980s.

With a special focus on the tensions among politics, economy, and culture itself, this book examines the transitions of Chinese culture from tradition to the modern age. It expounds the cultural differentiation and its effect in contemporary China. Within this framework, the author addresses some key issues and phenomena that figure in the cultural scene of modern China, ranging from the crisis of Chinese cultural identity in the context of globalization, the media culture, and its impacts on everyday life, to the visual culture and social transformation.

Offering a panoramic view of Chinese contemporary culture, literature, arts, and society, this title will serve as an essential read for scholars of China studies, Cultural studies, and visual culture, as well as anyone interested in what’s going on in Chinese contemporary culture.

chapter |19 pages


part I|23 pages

From Tradition to the Modern Age

chapter 1|9 pages

From primitive culture to classical culture

Integration and differentiation

chapter 2|12 pages

From classical culture to modern culture

Harmony vs. conflict

part II|64 pages

Chinese Culture in the Context of Globalization

chapter 3|14 pages

“Legitimation” and identity anxiety

chapter 4|12 pages

Sinologism as a problematic

chapter 5|13 pages

Literature and identity

chapter 7|12 pages

Globalization and cultural identity

part IV|79 pages

Visual Culture and Social Transformation