Pedagogies of food and ethical personhood: TV cooking shows in postwar Taiwan

Ti Wei*, Fran Martin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Taking one of the most representative subgenres of lifestyle TV, the cooking show, as a case study, in this article, we examine the history and changing cultural meanings of this televisual genre in the context of Taiwan's postwar social history and TV industry. We conduct textual analyses of Taiwanese cooking shows across three different historical stages: Fu Pei Mei's shows (the 1960s–1980s), Chen Hong's shows (the 1990s), and Metrosexual Uber-Chef with Master Ah-Ji (the 2000s), in order to advance a critical exploration of the complex relationships between these popular media texts and their social and industrial contexts. We argue that, in line with the ongoing transformations in Taiwan's society and television industry over the postwar era, the cooking show essentially shifted from educational-cultural to entertainment programming. However, at the same time, the pedagogical function of teaching both cooking skills and life ethics was maintained throughout the different stages, albeit represented very differently in each of the three periods, corresponding with the social and industrial contexts pertaining in each.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)636-651
Number of pages16
JournalAsian Journal of Communication
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2 Nov 2015


  • Taiwan television
  • cooking shows
  • lifestyle television
  • television history
  • televisual ethics


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