Conclusion. Negotiating Modernities through
Lifestyle Television
In this book, we have traversed a wide and varied televisual territory, from
downhome, Bhojpuri- language life advice tv in India to glossy, high- end
English- language lifestyle programming in Taiwan, and from globally recog-
nizable formats such as Indian and Chinese reality dating shows (Dare2Date,
If You Are the One) to more culturally specific examples like Taiwan’s Da Ai
channel, whose shows offer Buddhist- inflected principles for leading a good
life. We have also drawn on a wide range of approaches to analyzing television,
from textual and discourse analysis to audience- based qualitative approaches
and political economy. While the methods and sites we have chosen and the
programming we have examined are diverse, throughout, we have been cen-
trally concerned with developing what Nick Couldry has described as “socially
oriented media theory” (Couldry 2012, 8). In particular, we have sought to
demonstrate how lifestyle advice television in South and East Asia speaks to
the question of how to live optimally under late modern conditions; that is,
the way this type of programming both reflects and intervenes in the public
imagination of how to manage modernities at the level of everyday life, often
in the context of intensified and compressed social, cultural, political, and
economic change (Chang 2010).
As we have seen, such engagements are enacted in quite different ways
in different sites, with lifestyle advice offered on a wide range of program-
ming (from reality programming to variety shows), which in turn are often
shaped by distinct local- regional televisual cultures and modes of address.
Where Chinese regional tv offers rather straitlaced pedagogical fare on how
to become a self- managing citizen, more globalized Chinese formats aimed at
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