KCL-XJTLU CCI Online Seminar (Taiwan’s Public Service Children’s Travel TV)


7:00 PM - 8:30 PM




  • Theme: The Making of New Middle-Class, Independent, Cosmopolitan Subjects in Taiwan’s Public Service Children’s Travel TV
  • Time:11:00-12:30 (London), 19:00-20:30 (Beijing)
  • Date:16 February 2024, Friday
  • Venue: Online
  • Language: English


This article examines the discourses of subject-making in Taiwan’s Public TV Service (PTS) via a critical discourse analysis of images of child tourists who travel internationally as tour guides in Little Backpackers (小小背包客系列, PTS, 2018-2021), a reality-based travel series in PTS’s children’s TV Show Follow Me Go! (下課花路米, PTS, 2001-2021). The article approaches the image of the travelling children as a discursive construction of contemporary Taiwanese children subjects articulating the parenting and educating ideology of the PTS and Taiwan’s new middle-class families. The little tourists’ mobility functions to create more individualized, individualistic, independent, dedicated cosmopolitan subjectivities. They are culturally cosmopolitan, geographically mobile, and socially transgressive. In contrast to commercial reality TV shows in 2010s’ China and 2000s’ Taiwan that emphasize traditional paternalism and neoliberal enterprising self, the Little Backpackers promotes democratic relations between adults and children, while playing down the competitive individualization. Children should learn to acknowledge and accept failures.


Jocelyn Yi-Hsuan Lai (PhD) is an Assistant Professor of the Department of Communication Arts at Fu Jen Catholic University, New Taipei City, Taiwan. Her research focuses on the impacts of neoliberalism on Taiwan, its television culture and creative professionals. She has published essays in Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, Inter-Asia Cultural Studies and several English anthologies. She coguest-edited a special issue on Confucian values and television in East Asia in Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies.

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