Ideology and the performance of Chineseness

Hong Kong singers on the CCTV stage


  • Lauren Gorfinkel University of Technology



Hong Kong, identity, People’s Republic of China, popular music, television


This article examines the construction of Chinese nationalism through song performances on China’s national network, China Central Television (CCTV), with a particular focus on the accommodation of Hong Kong singers. It contributes to the body of knowledge on televised musical performances in Asia, a subject on which there is limited research. I examine two performances by Hong Kong singers on CCTV’s travelling programme The Same Song in 2007, the year China celebrated ten years since the end of British sovereignty over Hong Kong. I argue that singers who are identified as hailing from Hong Kong perform different but overlapping ideological roles for Party-state television. They appear to offer audiences a sense of freshness and modernity, and therefore help the Party-state project an image of open-mindedness and inclusivity. In addition, their songs serve to ease audiences into paying attention to the more overt ideological messages presented through the programme’s dialogue segments.

Author Biography

Lauren Gorfinkel, University of Technology

Lauren Gorfinkel lectures in media and communication at the University of Technology, Sydney and the University of New South Wales. She recently completed her PhD at the University of Technology, Sydney, on the politics of identity in China’s music variety television programmes.


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How to Cite

Gorfinkel, L. (2012). Ideology and the performance of Chineseness: Hong Kong singers on the CCTV stage. Perfect Beat, 12(2), 107–128.