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date: 06 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines ethnographic content across several categories of contemporary Chinese media. Visual/aural constructions of alteric cultural space, or the culture trope, have persisted over several decades in China, in part because of their common logic of counterpointing urban modernity. Only sometimes have these imaginings been associated with minzu or “minority nationalities,” although their representational logics are co-implicated with recent patterns of minzu representation. Most examples are drawn from research on the Miao/Hmong in relation to cultural production both in and beyond China since the early 1980s. The chapter begins with a relatively mainstream film, then puts it into conversation with several forms of nonelite media production: music videos, grassroots event videos, TV travel diaries, and transnational ethnic videos. Considered together, these various types of media reveal an emergent, perhaps “postperipheral,” social imaginary that is developing in tandem with a diversification of media production.

Keywords: ethnographic, grassroots media, Miao, minorities, minzu, culture, alterity, cultural production

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