OUR PHD CANDIDATES ON THE JOB MARKET
FALL 2010 (C.V.'S ARE .PDF FORMAT)
DISSERTATION TITLE/TOPIC: "TV Talk: American Television, Chinese Audiences, and the Pursuit of an Authentic Self"
• Examines the ways in which educated urban Chinese youth engage American TV dramas to actively reconcile their identity ambiguities in cosmopolitan China
• Qualitative study based on in-depth interviews and focus groups
• Provides insights into the preoccupations and value orientations of educated urban Chinese youth, a relatively small but important cohort whose ideas may shape the intersection of media and politics in China for years to come
• Key findings:
1) Chinese youth engage American TV shows in a deeply reflexive manner. They are drawn to American television primarily because it provides an experience of “authenticity” that is largely absent in their own lives. This perception of authenticity involves a) seeing American television as an authentic cultural representation featuring honest and sophisticated storytelling and b) seeing personal authenticity – an idealized existential state of being true to oneself – as a distinct and admirable aspect of the American national character.
2) Chinese viewers not only engage and interpret American TV content through their own cultural lenses, but they dynamically use foreign content to interrogate notions of self and society.
DISSERTATION ADVISOR: Steven J. Tepper
RESEARCH INTERESTS: Sociology of Culture, Asian Studies (China), Identity, Globalization, Media