Examines issues and debates crucial to understanding contemporary Chinese society, culture, and politics. Discusses how cultural politics frames the way in which China is viewed by mass media around the world and by China scholars in the West. Topics include the Beijing Olympic Games; Mao in post-Mao China; the new patriotism; leisure and consumer culture; the rise of the internet and web culture in urban China; media censorship, remix, and creative online culture. Analyzes the central debate over progress and the role played by the state, the market, and citizen activists in engineering social change. Uses documentaries and feature films to illustrate the cultural, social and political changes that have taken place in China since the 1980s. Includes two short writing assignments and a final paper. Taught in English with a project that requires research in Chinese. Preference to Chinese minors.