Celebrity in China


Edited by Louise Edwards and Elaine Jeffreys

ISBN : 978-962-209-087-3

Cultural Studies, Gender Studies

February 2010

300 pages, 6″ x 9″

  • HK$395.00

Also available in Paperback HK$195.00

Celebrity is a pervasive aspect of everyday life and a growing field of academic inquiry. While there is now a substantial body of literature on celebrity culture in Australia, Europe and the Americas, this is the first book-length exploration of celebrity in China. It examines how international norms of celebrity production interact with those operating in China. The book comprises case studies from popular culture (film, music, dance, literature, internet), official culture (military, political, and moral exemplars) and business celebrities. This breadth provides readers with insights into the ways capitalism and communism converge in the elevation of particular individuals to fame in contemporary China. The book also points to areas where Chinese conceptions of fame and celebrity are unique.

Celebrity in China will be of use to scholars and students in the field of media, popular culture and China studies. Journalists may find this book useful for their analysis of famous figures in China and people working in the creative industries area may also appreciate an insight into ‘image management’ in China.

Louise Edwards is a professor of modern China studies at the University of Hong Kong. Her most recent book is Gender, Politics and Democracy: Women’s Suffrage in China (2008) and an edited volume with Mina Roces, The Politics of Dress in Asia and the Americas (2007). Elaine Jeffreys is an associate professor in China studies at the University of Technology, Sydney, and a member of the UTS China Research Centre. She is the author of China, Sex and Prostitution (2004), and editor of China’s Governmentalities: Governing Change, Changing Government (2009) and Sex and Sexuality in China (2006).

‘This excellent collection of essays on China’s celebrities is at once an entertaining read and a serious study on the political economy of superstar culture. Many on the list of the famous and infamous are surprising picks, which shows the editors’ fun-seeking sensibility and their nuanced understanding of Chinese pop culture.’ —Jing Wang, MIT

Celebrity in China represents a welcome and original intervention in the field of celebrity studies. Given that much of the scholarship on celebrity and stardom has taken Western celebrity culture as its focus, it is exciting to see a collection that departs from this and forges new ground. This book brings together analyses of the diverse nature of celebrity in China, moving across an exciting and revealing range of political and cultural issues, as well as media forms. What emerges here is a dynamic and complex picture of how celebrity and fame are shaped by the specific nature of Chinese cultural politics, whilst the case studies also demonstrate the enduring and global nature of celebrity culture.’ —Su Holmes, University of East Anglia