From Transnationalism to Nativism: The Rise, Decline and Reinvention of a Regional Hokkien Entertainment Industry
28 Pages Posted: 19 Dec 2008
Date Written: January 1, 2007
This paper explores the ways in which the production of commercial Hokkien popular culture-including film, music and television-has been transformed over the course of the last half century from a transnational industry into something now associated almost exclusively with 'nativist' Taiwan. The paper thus draws on and contributes to wider debates about Diaspora, transnationalism and cultural expression in the wider East Asian region. In tracing the development of the Hokkien popular culture industry since the Second World War, I hope to show how many of the practices and traits common to Hokkien cultural production in Taiwan today originated in earlier eras and in other parts of the Chinese Diaspora (most noticeably early post-war Southeast Asia and Hong Kong). The paper also provides some ideas about why what was, in the 1950s, a lively international trade in commercial Hokkien popular culture has, in more recent decades, become largely confined to Taiwan, with broadcast and cultural policy, demographic changes and commercial realities all playing a part in influencing the industry's fate.
Keywords: Hokkien, Amoy dialect, Taiwan, popular culture, nativism, transnationalism
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