Urban-Rural Mobility through the Lens of Food Documentary: A Case Study of “A Bite of China: Season Two”
The combination of traditional Chinese food processing techniques and contemporary commercial food production forms the main topics of “A Bite of China: Season Two” (ABOC-2). Built upon the success of its first reason, ABOC-2 has achieved a record high TV rating among domestic audience and also made history by becoming the best-selling Chinese documentary overseas. By examining the individual experiences of migrant workers shown in ABOC-2, this paper discusses the important role of rural Chinese cuisine in maintaining the urban-rural mobility of contemporary China. We argue that one major storyline of ABOC-2, in which migrant workers maintain their inherent economic and social connections with their native countryside through cooking and consuming hometown dishes, sheds light upon migrant workers’ active resistance to the partially rational yet overly standardized ways of urban living. By showing respect to rural traditions and culture, ABOC-2 has successfully promoted the dignity of Chinese migrant workers and depicted their spiritual plight in contemporary China’s drive toward modernization.
Copyright (c) 2019 Yao Lu, Xiaoxiao Yang
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