Following the past thirty years of economic development in China, a substantial amount of research on rural migrants and urbanization has emerged. However, few address traditional art forms and their related socio-economic transformation. This paper scrutinizes how errenzhuan, a Northeast folk peasant sing-song art form, developed to become a national entertainment industry within a decade, only to crumble under a change of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) political direction. It argues that the trajectory path of errenzhuan reveals distinctive features of the Chinese cultural industry, which is developed under the dual pressures of economic success and CCP ideologically directed market monopoly. The party-state's ability to regulate the market, despite the industry's nationwide popularity and economic substance, exemplifies the power of the Chinese party state "central bank," which monopolizes the art market for the continued articulation and legitimacy of the CCP. Such phenomenon is identified in this paper as "cultural industries with Chinese characteristics."


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pp. 79-100
Launched on MUSE
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