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Socialist Sound and the Radio Voice: Hearing Maoist Broadcasting in the 1950s

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Abstract:

The image of Chinese radio underwent a stark makeover in the 1950s. Once a wireless luxury commodity for the Republican metropolitan elite, radio technology became a commonplace fixture for mass consumption for all—from the city to the countryside. The ubiquity of newly adopted Soviet wired broadcasting technology, the common scene of groups huddled around loudspeakers, and the all-too familiar presence of propaganda programs positioned radio as a dominant feature in daily life during the PRC.

While we may be most familiar with the rhetorical content of radio broadcasting, we are ironically less attuned to its auditory signifiers. Given the technological changes for Chinese radio broadcasting post-1949, it begs asking what the concomitant sonic adaptations to the new Socialist culture were. Using radio station archives, periodicals, and oral histories, this paper focuses on the voices of radio broadcasters—a group whose training spanned the rigors of learning Soviet formal theatrical techniques, to immersion in the countryside and in factories. It looks at how their learned vocal stylings, tone, and correct pronunciation could both project and perform ideological purity and national unity. Radio broadcasters communicated more than the Maoist political rhetoric that infused their scripts, as the sounds of their voices, too, could impart the messages themselves.
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Association:
Name: Association for Asian Studies - Annual Conference
URL:
http://www.asian-studies.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1193921_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Hartono, Marie. "Socialist Sound and the Radio Voice: Hearing Maoist Broadcasting in the 1950s" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Asian Studies - Annual Conference, Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel, Toronto, Canada, <Not Available>. 2017-07-17 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1193921_index.html>

APA Citation:

Hartono, M. P. "Socialist Sound and the Radio Voice: Hearing Maoist Broadcasting in the 1950s" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Asian Studies - Annual Conference, Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel, Toronto, Canada <Not Available>. 2017-07-17 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1193921_index.html

Publication Type: Panel Paper
Abstract: The image of Chinese radio underwent a stark makeover in the 1950s. Once a wireless luxury commodity for the Republican metropolitan elite, radio technology became a commonplace fixture for mass consumption for all—from the city to the countryside. The ubiquity of newly adopted Soviet wired broadcasting technology, the common scene of groups huddled around loudspeakers, and the all-too familiar presence of propaganda programs positioned radio as a dominant feature in daily life during the PRC.

While we may be most familiar with the rhetorical content of radio broadcasting, we are ironically less attuned to its auditory signifiers. Given the technological changes for Chinese radio broadcasting post-1949, it begs asking what the concomitant sonic adaptations to the new Socialist culture were. Using radio station archives, periodicals, and oral histories, this paper focuses on the voices of radio broadcasters—a group whose training spanned the rigors of learning Soviet formal theatrical techniques, to immersion in the countryside and in factories. It looks at how their learned vocal stylings, tone, and correct pronunciation could both project and perform ideological purity and national unity. Radio broadcasters communicated more than the Maoist political rhetoric that infused their scripts, as the sounds of their voices, too, could impart the messages themselves.


Similar Titles:
Voices in the Courtroom: Sound, Technology, and Expert Hearing in the Legal Arena

The World in the Living Room: Sounding Cosmpolitan on 1950s Czechoslovak Radio

Voices in a Box: The Political Aesthetics of Sound in Wartime, Colonial Korean Radio


 
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