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Cultural Proximity: The Case of Two Different Chinese Diasporas Combined by Taiwan’s Famous Cultural Worker

Most of scholars have found that media market regionalization acts as a crucial mediation phase between the Global/Local “Global/Local” bipolar nexus in the study of media globalization. This is what is defined as cultural globalization for network model. It breaks the America Myth as the center of cultural production (Kim, 2004). In terms of the dominance of a single-center over the peripheries it is no longer possible to conceive global processes in terms of the dominance of a single-center over the peripheries. Instead of several competing centers, which bring a shift in the worldwide balance of power between blocks and nation-state foreign new sets of independence.

The market indicates a multicounty media market linked by language, culture and, geography in media regionalization. It is informing a regional media market, scholar’s realist that cultural proximity is the most important factor, including linguistic and cultural similarities. Despite linguistic and cultural properties, cultural proximity also is composed of images, gender, dressing lifestyle, ethnic type, and religion. It can well be seen as cultural capital, which is well herd by regional audiences. In our study, we shall see cultural proximity as a very essentialist being.

We shall take a case of why the trendy Japanese drama in Taiwan during 1990 enjoyed immense popularity. As indicated, by scholars, seeming cultural proximity seeming naturalness in imperial studies has to be interrogated (Kim, 2004). They contend the risk of culture representing in a historical and totalizing way is a runner by cultural proximity. It is assumed that different cultural commodities simply direct all the audience interest culturally similar texts towards media texts. On the other hand, the internal difference and diverse historical contexts are ignored by cultural proximity, which exists within cultural formations.

That’s the reason scholars argue that, in Taiwan, the drama is becoming culturally proximity is not an existing a priori but a historical or something out there. This becoming represents the constructivist approach or essentialist to interpreting culture. The cultural proximity and identity are not similar, but there is a very close relationship between them. The cultural identity initiated the cultural proximity where the proximity is hinged on the already rooted identity (Kim, 2004). The proximity highly depends on identity to an extent; if the identity is not present, then it is impossible to find the proximity. Understanding cultural identity refers to understanding one shared culture reflecting everyday historical experiences and the same cultural codes beyond any historical vicissitudes.

How cultural proximity is employed is exemplified as a cultural strategy in the production of popular cultural products, which is the case in cheesiness. Our case analysis discusses how Qiong Yao, a Taiwanese cultural worker, created a popular in the Chinese regional media through her artistic production. Her success also demonstrates that there are different factors that contribute to famous cultural product creation like geography, history, economy, mode of production, and state policies.

A unique diaspora community; Taiwanese mainland

In media studies, diaspora has become a hot issue on a larger scale. With larger scale transnational immigration accompanying globalization as it is in other fields of multidisciplinary. But the question is if they were Diasporas (Straubhaar, 1991). Diaspora, in this case, means people who combine to form expatriate minority communities and have characteristics as below, people are dispersed to foreign or peripheral religion from the original center. They have common myths, memory, and vision of their original homeland. The belief that they cannot be accepted. Thus, they feel partially marginalized and alienated from the host society. They usually see their ancestral land/home as their only hope and ideal place, among other factors.

In our case, a de facto diaspora community is the Chinese in the mainland who came to Taiwan in 1949. The Han Chines are the mainlanders who came to Taiwan in 1945 when Taiwan was returned to the public of China by Japan after colonial rule, which ran for 50 years (Straubhaar, 1991). These Taiwanese mainlanders were “disembodied” through historical and political contingency concepts from their original spatial, historical, and social contexts, not by modernity pressure.

The KMT’s official ideology of “being Chinese” was accepted by the mainlanders from a cultural perspective and endorse its cultural policies undoubtedly. The guidelines include reinforcing the Chinese orthodoxy by exalting traditional Confucianism through media broadcast restraining in Taiwanese vernacular and through education and Mandarin stipulating as an official language. By the end of 40 years, the mainlander’s thoughts on their interaction in Taiwan, their homeland thoughts had been changed into mythologized Nostalgia.

Comparing this policy with historical contexts is a clear eigenface how the government China tried to make imagined China in Taiwan to show its legitimacy in the ruling. In the contextual shifts, the gnawing desire for return, collective memory of depression, and loss of homeland, which are negative characterize of classic diaspora, are suppressed (Straubhaar, 1991). In contrast, multiculturalism and transnational flows of capital have flexible and super mobility identities on the part of transmigrates whose positive connotations have been elevated.

The new diaspora is the new immigrant who utilizes a flexible identity for capital accumulation in the globalization era. The old diaspora are people who conform to the classic definition of the diaspora. The relationship with their homeland is what defines the difference between the new and old diaspora.

In the current world, a homeland can be defined as a place where people can make a profit with different or flexible citizenship, while in the former, it is emotionally attached to cultural identity where one feels he can’t do without it. On the other hand, one would usually find an overlapping of these two diasporas in many Taiwanese mainlands. Qiong Yao, Taiwan’s famous cultural worker, combines the two different Chinese Diasporas.

The Chinese old and new Diaspora employment: Into Qiong Yao popularity

The best way to analyze Qiong Yao, a prolific cultural worker with plural positions in popular culture, is through periodization. Two critical epochs are divided into Qiong Yao’s writing according to historical continuality. Forty-two novels were written from 1963 to 1985 by Qiong Yao, where some of the novels grapple with memories of mainland China and the 39 novels are continually Taiwan. The 39 novels were a clear reflection in Taiwan of the social and economic change occurring there during the period. However, after Xue Ke was published in 1990, all 15 TV dramas and 21 novels were set in distance China both in spatial and temporal terms.

Not only her later mode of cultural production but also her cultural identity triggers this interesting cultural atavism (Straubhaar, 1991). From then, she started adapting her novels into moves in 1976. Her literal creation was used as an ax by-product for filmmaking. This is a clear indication that her cultural production has changed to a formulaic process. In the first case, the crown magazine could serialize her novels, then publish them as books, and later the theme songs records from her movies would hit the market ad later fictions transformed into a film and then watched in theaters. In her recent Tv drama, the same production continues. Now the TV dramas are among the final products of the cultural production process.

Currently, she sees herself as TV drama Ruther than been a novelist. This fixed formula of cultural production helps marginal interest extraction by Qiong Yao from her popular show. This is also a guarantees that Qiong Yao is the only one who has the ability for creation of Qiong Yao employment as raw for other cultural production (Cheng, 2006). The whole final process has become a brand in the end. The consumer can easily recognize whats is a Qiong Yao pop music, novel, and TV drama since Qiong Yao has become the most authoritative and only interpreter of her cultural products.

In pre-modern China, the novels were set in 1990 have a very close connection to her cultural production mode. Qiong Yao cannot create contemporary stories about Taiwan, which is constrained by moving her TV production to the mainland in 1989. She also cannot make stories that take place in modern China as a Chinese diaspora.

China Old diaspora

In late 198, the mainlanders were allowed to visit their relatives in China after it was announced by the KMT government that 40-year rule of martial law was lifted and a ban cross straight interaction. This was a surprise to Qiong Yao and exalted by the chance that made her homecoming dream come true (Cheng, 2006). She joined the group in her homeland and wrote a book as a memory of his historic journey. The relatives they wanted to stay in their homeland were human beings, the mountains of the motherland, the seas of land, and the water of their homeland.

Her primary purpose was not to visit her relative in her hometown. Most of the reason the young generation came to the mainland was to accompany their parents to hold units in the family in mainland hometowns (Cheng, 2006). Most Chinese people are just like this. No matter how time, space has separated them, they always do the same thing in their festival tradition. They do love their own culture. Their homeland, love their own homes and families, and also love their ancestors. They are just of such character, no matter how mountains, seas, and rivers separate them.

The Chinese new diaspora 

The Qiong was surprised how popular she was in mainland Chins in the first homecoming. In Unserved Nostalgia, many places describe how she was surrounded by local media and passionate readers courtesy of cultural proximity. From the time he landed in Beijing airport, where she worked, no matter in Yunnan, Wuhan, Guillen, from south to north, numerous people were asking for a picture together with her, and well as number of media guys were ready to interview her.

Qiong Yao felled how mainland China felled the Qiong Yao due to this kind of situation. After learning that her books sold 7000 to 8000 copies on the continent, she was more shocked. She became more joyful because of intellectual property (Cheng, 2006). She understood how copyright is—both to the famous symbolic capital and writer’s economic profits a through her books that embezzled her name for marketing even though Qiong Yao books circulated in the mainland in china were all illegal pirate copies.

The Popular symbolic capital: the formatting and writer star

Since the 1978 economic reform, Qiong Yao romance movies and novels might be the highly influential consumed by Mainland in Taiwan. Qiong has been ranked as the 85.8% by a survey of 1500 people in 1978. People who read those responses ranked her as first, and preference ranked the second. A report conducted in 1999 about the cross-strait literature flows undertaken by the Cultural Affairs Committee showed that the second most popular hong Kong and Taiwan literature genre in mainland china was romance action immediately after the art novel, where it was published 18 copies.

In the 80s, TV movies and Dramas based on novels of Qiong Yao were produced by mainland China stations. The film directed by Qiong Yao where used by a whole generation of young people in china with mushrooming of video booths in mainland China and around the streets. Qiong Yao fever also was created through the rampant sales of pirated tapes and repeated broadcast of repeated pop songs from movies by radio stations. When Qiong Yao is called a star, there is no exaggeration. It is argued that interaction between consumption and production stardom of popular culture. It functions as the production process part where it is essential to the narrative, marketing, and representation (Cendrawaty et al., 2009). It is consumed by audiences once produced, located at specific sites of space and time.

How vital the role stardom played in formatting is pointed out. To minimize the commercial failure dangers, the popular way for cultural production is formatting. The three formatting ways are genre, system, and serial format. The star could be a producer, a writer, or even an actor or director. The lead could proffer an aura for media text once it is associated with media text. The genre also has a small connection with a star. It links with the star, such as a comedy actor or romance writer. After such a connection, they all serve each other with high recognition. An example of established successful formatting is Qiong Yao.

In Chinese popular culture, the circulation, production, and consumption of Qiong Yao works have stretched the equation of romance, Chinese popular culture, and Qiong Yao, no matter if it is a novel, a TV drama, a pop song, or even a movie. The Qiong Yao famous symbolic capital has been transformed from the Qiong Yao recognition as the romance author (Cendrawaty et al., 2009). The degree of accumulated celebrity, prestige, and honor artists is indicated by symbolic capital from the critical community, and finally, material interest will be transformed from symbolic capital. Another subfield of cultural production is large-scale cultural production such as popular romance literature or TV programming.

Flexible accumulation and diaspora due to cultural proximity

Due to cultural proximity, the economic activities found in the diaspora are a kind of flexible accumulation. This is the new production mode in late capitalization, which is not similar to the organized production from concentrated capital like Fordism. Fordism and flexible accumulation differences lie in the former entertain flexibility with all production processes. The new pattern of the labor force, consumption, marketing, and financing are the main characteristics of feeble accumulation, which will automatically respond to the market with high mobility. The flexible expansion has more purpose; it opens opportunities for small businesses, makes critical social institutions, like kinship and family groups, and regains emphasis on late capitalization.

The economic activity of the Chinese diaspora, from Tawin, flexible accumulation nature is more distinguished. Any kind of investment to Taiwanese businessman in the mainland is much more speculative and less secure since the Taiwan’s formal relationship remains antagonistic (Cendrawaty et al., 2009). This is why Quan xi needs to be built by most of Taiwan’s businessmen. They make an interpersonal network with business partners or local officials to ensure their business is protected in main China.

Cultural proximity is the flexible accumulating representation in transnational cultural production. Such practical success depends on knowledge of different cultural policies, market operation and tastes. To any Taiwan cultural worker business the mainland, the Quan xi is very critical. The go-between is Ouyang Chang lin in the Qiong Yaos case. In Qiong Yaos, the unserved Nostalgia, the reporter at human TV, the Ouyang, appeared repeatedly (Cendrawaty et al., 2009).

The first case he appeared in was when Qiong Yao would start her journey to three Georges. Ouyang was turned down when he tried to interview her. The Qiong was followed by Ouyang four thousand miles to interview her. Qiong Yao later confessed to Ouyang that she preferred to return to Hunan since she did not want to see her grandfather’s deserted graveyard and old house.

After examining the Qiong Yaos Chinese popular culture success, it is well found that cultural proximity to some extend provides an excellent explanation to the satisfactory resolution. Successful cultural production articulates elements in cultural proximity like history, ethnicity, economy, geopolitics, and production mode. The way elements are expressed in cultural production is seen as an imagining process. The imagination is entirely completed by the audience’s consumption and initiated by the creations of artistic works.


Cendrawaty, C., Yovita, Y., & Juniwati, J. (2009). The Portrait of Qiong Yao’s Life in Her Novels. Lingua Cultura3(2), 152-163.

Cheng, S. (2006). Cultural Proximity, Diasporic Identities, and Popular Symbolic Capital: Taiwan Cultural Worker Qiong Yao’s Cultural Production in the Chinese Media Market’. Global Media Journal5(8), 1-19.

Kim, M. K. (2004). Cultural proximity and the type of Korean television programs in Asian market.

Straubhaar, J. D. (1991). Beyond media imperialism: Assymetrical interdependence and cultural proximity. Critical Studies in media communication8(1), 39-59.


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