Knowledge, Culture, and Change: State Management of the Entertainment Industry in China’s Past and Present

By Tiantian Zheng.

Published by The Organization Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Theories of diversity management and the entertainment industry tend to be Euro-centric. Patterns of divergence in diversity management practices have mainly been studied and observed in Europe and America, but not in Asia. This paper breaks the norm and offers a profound account of how the state manages the sex industry throughout Chinese history.

This paper explores the unique ways the state has managed the entertainment industry throughout Chinese history. Data in this paper is based upon both archival and ethnographic research. It unfolds in four sections. The first section discusses the state production and management of the entertainment industry and the relationships between prostitution and migration before the Republican era. The second section investigates the state regulation of, and benefit from, prostitution during the Republican era. The third section illustrates the abolition of prostitution under the Maoist era in tandem with the ban on rural-urban migration. The fourth section demonstrates the continuity of the historical trend of state targeting as well as profiting from the sex industry. In a nutshell, for thousands of years, the dynasties and states produced, regulated, sometimes threatened to abolish, yet at the same time profited from prostitution both economically and politically. This conflict between the need for social order and the desire to maintain prostitution for economic needs grew more intense during the nationalist period, resolved in favor of abolition under Mao, and finally resumed during the post-Mao era.

Keywords: The Entertainment Industry, Management, China, History

International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp.495-512. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 674.162KB).

Tiantian Zheng

Associate Professor of Anthropology, Sociology/Anthropology, State University of New York, Cortland, NY, USA

Tiantian Zheng received her Ph.D. in Anthropology at Yale University in 2003, and currently teaches as an associate professor of anthropology in the department of Sociology/Anthropology at SUNY Cortland. She is the author of the following four books: Red Lights: The Lives of Sex Workers in Postsocialist China (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press); Ethnographies of Prostitution in Contemporary China: Gender Relations, HIV/AIDS, and Nationalism (New York: Palgrave Macmillan Press); HIV/AIDS Through an Anthropological Lens (Dubuque: Kendall Hunt Publishing); and Sex Trafficking, Human Rights, and Social Justice (Routledge).


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