BYU Asian Studies Journal


BYU Asian Studies, Chinese dramas, West


Lois Tyson once said, “Neither human events (in the political or personal domain) nor human productions (from nuclear submarines to television shows) can be understood without understanding the specific historical circumstances in which those events and productions occur” (Tyson 2006, 54). To parrot Lois Tyson, in order to understand human productions such as modern Chinese dramas, one must understand the specific historical circumstances set around those story plots. This paper will dive into how the West is represented in modern fictional Chinese dramas. In order to do this, this paper will explore the cultural and political circumstances at the time that affected these fictional stories. When referring to the ‘West’ in this paper, it will include Westerners and their cultural norms from the years 2014 to 2022. In these fictional worlds of modern Chinese dramas, Western education is seen as desirable. However, Western morals are typically portrayed as low. Throughout the past hundred years or so, the Chinese people have traditionally accommodated Westerners, but gradually, the portrayal of the West in fictional dramas has started to shift to where the West is seen to accommodate the Chinese people in terms of language and business functions.