Chinese Square Dance, Media, and Ideological Dynamics in Contemporary China

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Author: Song, Yu
In China, square dance refers to a dancing activity named after where it usually occurs, a public square. Contemporary Chinese square dance started in the 1980s, in the wake of the Chinese Communist Party’s Reform and Opening Up policy. My paper explores Chinese square dance as a collective method of expression under contemporary ideological dynamics, which combine earlier socialism and the more recent neoliberalism. It entails the study of Chinese domestic news media, which represent the dialectical tensions of socialist and neoliberal ideologies when presenting the image of square dance. Using Chinese square dance as a focal point to study the interplay between media, society and the party state, we see a dynamic struggle occurring between the often despised, orthodox socialism and the arguably heterodox, yet penetrative neoliberal way of life.
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