Title

Questioning diaspora : mobility, mutation, and historiography of the Shaw brothers film studio

Document Type

Journal article

Source Publication

Chinese Journal of Communication

Publication Date

1-1-2011

Volume

4

Issue

1

First Page

40

Last Page

59

Keywords

Chinese diaspora, Cultural economy, Hong kong film industry, Mobility and diversification, MPandGI cathay, Shaw brothers studio

Abstract

This piece reviews the historical accounts of Shaw Brothers Studio, targeting its presentation as a diaspora company whose commercialism was enhanced by political pragmatism, frugality, and agility. The studio's activities were constrained by twentieth-century geopolitics, but its behavior was also shaped by its show business competitors, new technologies, and emergent popular forms. Existing historical accounts tend to overstate the studio's diasporic qualities, especially compared to other firms. This essay argues that there are limits to the diaspora model and proposes a more complex understanding of the firm. Alternative factors are considered in the company's colonial stratagems, in both its earlier and later phases, and in its dealings with Hong Kong's left-wing studios and subsequent businessin Taiwan. Finally, Shaw Brothers Studio's appropriation of Japanese and other Asian talent is significant to the diaspora model of Shaw Brothers Studio.

DOI

10.1080/17544750.2011.544081

Print ISSN

17544750

Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2011 The Communication Research Centre. Access to external full text or publisher's version may require subscription.

Full-text Version

Publisher’s Version

Language

English

Recommended Citation

Davis, D. W. (2011). Questioning diaspora : mobility, mutation, and historiography of the Shaw brothers film studio. Chinese Journal of Communication, 4(1), 40-59. doi:10.1080/17544750.2011.544081

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