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The Teahouse under SocialismThe Decline and Renewal of Public Life in Chengdu, 1950-2000$
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Di Wang

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781501715488

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501715488.001.0001

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State Control and the Rise of Socialist Entertainment

State Control and the Rise of Socialist Entertainment

(p.60) 2 State Control and the Rise of Socialist Entertainment
The Teahouse under Socialism

Di Wang

Cornell University Press

This chapter describes state control over cultural life, which occurred as soon as the People’s Liberation Army entered Chengdu. This would over time transform the major teahouse theaters and the performance troupes associated with them. The goal was to usurp old-fashioned performances with “socialist entertainment.” The chapter provides a survey of folk performers that the local government undertook in the mid-1950s so as to control and reduce the number of performers and thus weaken all forms of popular entertainment. Through this old-style public arena the new government disseminated political propaganda, and the teahouse became a political stage for a newly created political culture. Initially, long-established and revolutionary forms of entertainment coexisted, but as time went on the former was increasingly attacked, controlled, and reformed, until socialist entertainment dominated.

Keywords:   Popular culture, Socialist amusement, Folk performers

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