The Shandong TV talk show host and the filial guest: When hosting is not hospitable

Angela Zito

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


    As the Chinese Party-state ramps up the revivification of chuantong wenhua, or traditional culture, really « Confucianism» as an ethical formation, I consider several structuring forms across temporalities (Model Person, filiality, and above all hosting) through a Tv talk show called All Fathers and Mothers Under Heaven. In classic ancestral ritual, it is always the Son who « hosts», standing as the zhuren in the center, even as the ideology of imperial patriarchy holds the Father as dominant. The Tv talk show reverses this structure: the filial son is the guest, while the state’s surrogate hosts the show. Yet the Party-state’s entire current project hopes to empower its « Sons» (and daughters, its « children») as individually strong, entrepreneurial citizens of the xxist century new China. Hence the dilemma of the government: empowering its citizenry just enough, while not giving away too much of its own clout.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)89-110
    Number of pages22
    JournalHomme (France)
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - 2019


    • Centering
    • China
    • Elder care
    • Exemplarity
    • Filiality
    • Hierarchy
    • Hospitality
    • Hosting
    • Tv talk show

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Anthropology
    • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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