Forthcoming book: Telemodernities: Television and Transforming Lives in Asia

Tania Lewis, Fran Martin and Wanning Sun Telemodernities: Television and Transforming Lives in Asia (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, forthcoming 2016).


Yoga gurus on wellbeing-and-lifestyle cable channels targeting time pressured Indian urbanites; Chinese dating and makeover shows promoting competitive individualism; Taiwanese home makeover formats combining feng shui with life planning advice: Asian TV screens are increasingly populated by a wild proliferation of popular factual programmes aimed at providing lifestyle guidance to viewers, particularly the emergent consumer middle classes.

Telemodernities analyses the complex social and cultural significance of lifestyle programming in a region undergoing dramatic social, cultural, political and economic upheaval. More than just another TV genre, this book demonstrates how lifestyle-oriented popular factual shows illuminate key aspects of late modernities in South and East Asia, offering a window not only into early 21st century media cultures but also into broader shifts in the nature of public and private life, identity, citizenship and social engagement today.

Analysing a wide range of reality, lifestyle and popular factual shows from Taiwanese fashion-and-beauty variety formats to Chinese home makeover programs to Indian reality-lifestyle TV, and drawing on extensive interviews with TV industry professionals and audiences across China, India, Taiwan and Singapore, Telemodernities uses popular lifestyle television as a window onto emergent forms of identity, sociality and capitalist modernity in Asia.

Table of contents

  1. Introduction: Telemodernities
  2. Lifestyle Television in Context: Media Industries, Cultural Economies, Genre Flows
  3. Local Versus Metropolitan Television in China: Stratification of Needs, Taste and Spatial Imagination
  4. Here, There and Everywhere: Mediascapes, Geographic Imaginaries and Indian Television
  5. Imagining Global Mobility: TLC Taiwan
  6. Gurus, Babas and Daren: Popular Experts on Chinese and Indian Advice TV
  7. Magical Modernities: Spiritual Advice TV in India and Taiwan
  8. Risky Romance: Navigating Late Modern Identities and Relationships on Chinese and Indian Lifestyle TV
  9. A Self to Believe In: Negotiating Femininities in Sinophone Lifestyle Advice TV
  10. Conclusion: Negotiating Modernities through Lifestyle Television