© Media Watch 7 (1) 92-104, 2016
ISSN 0976-0911 e-ISSN 2249-8818
Fictional Portrayals of Young People in Chinese and American Juvenile Delinquency Films: A Comparative Study
University Sains Malaysia, Malaysia
This study discusses the differences between Chinese youth film and American teen film through a perspective on cultural foundation. The author argue that Confucianism is an alternative that greatly affects the depiction of young characters and the causal relationship of morality and fate of the characters in Chinese films. In Confucian philosophy, ‘kingdoms’ (guo) and ‘family’ (jia) are equally considered inviolable. ‘Family’ occupies a central position in Confucian culture. Filial piety is a virtue of respect for one’s parents and ancestors. This study attempts to provide a picture of juvenile delinquency depicted in both contemporary Chinese and American youth films. This study argues that ‘juvenile delinquency’ indicates any failure in, or omission of, ‘family’ and ‘kingdoms’. The objective of such a comparison is not to advocate for either Chinese or American youth cinema in portraying juvenile delinquency, but to promote a better understanding of the strengths and impacts of youth cinema and youth culture. It is argued that the depictions of juvenile delinquency expose the social discontent of youths in Chinese youth films.
Keywords: Confucianism, youth genre, juvenile delinquency, China, the United States
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Dr. Wang Changsong is a senior lecturer at the Film and Broadcasting Section, School of Communication, Universiti Sains Malaysia. His research interests include film studies, cinema studies, creativity studies, social media and digital marketing communication