As we approach the century's end, the world is poised for a historical change of unprecedented proportions: the rise of the middle class of over a billion people throughout Asia. Mass societies controlled by government policies and politics are being transformed into those in which rapidly rising middle classes increasingly determine political and cultural agendas. The unprecedented growth of new consumer publics are part of a larger "cultural revolution" led by market forces, popular culture, and an internationalized mass media. This program will work with people and institutions at the cutting edge of contemporary cultural changes to create an "insider's" view of the forces transforming China and the rest of Asia.

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