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Title: The Crisis of Chinese Rock in the mid-1990s: Weakness in Form or Weakness in Content?
Author: Wang, Qian
ISNI:       0000 0001 3560 8110
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2007
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Born in the political turmoil of the 1989 student movement, Chinese rock music is often understood as an ideological weapon to against the Communist principles due to its western origin. The movement pushed Chinese rock to an unprecedented height of cultural prominence in the. early 1990s. Chinese rock, however, lost this cultural prominence in the mid-1990s. The political suppression is generally regarded as the key reason causing the crisis, but the real reason is much more complicated and deep inside China's society. . The 1990s is a decade when China was profoundly transformed into a new nation in every dimension. The substantial economic growth hid other social problems, such as the unparalleled development between economy and culture. The crisis of Chinese rock is just evidence demonstrating how cultures are co-produced by multi-forces social movements rather than any single factors. Social powers and the political power are often mixed in previous studies. It is also incorrect to treat ordinary people as a passive group who actually had exerted their influences on the formation of Chinese rock in the 1990s. Qualitative data (such as the lyrics and comments) and quantitative data (such as the number ofrock album and economic figures) display why the crisis happened. The political-concentrated content and the purely artistic form are the two direct causes of the crisis, but digging deeper, social power, social classes, and cultural capital play vital roles. The immaturity of Chinese rock music itself is the direct reason, but the immaturity of China's society is the essential and primary reason for the crisis. The crisis of Chinese rock, however, does not mean its death, but a period when rockers, the music industries, the media, fans, and even the government needed to learn and accumulate adequate source and capital to develop this new culture. It cannot be an overnight task. The comeback of Chinese rock in the new millennium demonstrates that Chinese rock is a culture related to China. Its social significance and role likely differ from its western counterpart. Because China has been opened up to the outside world since 1979, the development of intercultural exchange is inevitable, which makes rock music develop in China in a together-in-difference situation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available