This thesis examines the recent production and consumption of television dramas
in Taiwan in the context of Taiwan's complicated modem history, rapid social
transitions, budding self-assertiveness and changing relationships with regional and
global players. The detailed analysis in this subject matter contributes to wider debates
in the media globalisation theory, reaffirming the continuing development of an East
Asian cultural trading block and pointing to a formation of the distinctive regional
popular culture that is more effective in shaping up the local production and
consumption activities. The rising regional dynamism in Taiwan's television drama
production and consumption since the late 1990s has been encapsulated in this thesis
in three main points:
1. The findings from detailed content analysis on programming schedules of seven
locally-run channels has shown that regional programming is more integrated with
local business while global programming (mostly American) has shifted to be produced
and distributed single-handedly by the transnational media corporations.
2. The first-hand audience interviews revealed a subtle difference in young
people's viewing experiences of the global and the regional programming. Situated in
a broader social context, their experience of the former has primarily crouched on a
fantasy of liberal individualism while the latter provided a desirable template for
emulation in everyday life.
3. The thesis also discussed the emergence of a new drama genre on Taiwanese
television-Idol drama, which can be seen as the reactions to the widespread regional
television deregulation, commercialisation and growing intra-regional cultural trade.
Its late development has also epitomised An inevitable negotiation of local
characteristic with regional forces.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.