ABSTRACT. Over the last four months, a show named “Idol Trainee” dominated the entertainment headlines. In addition to showing stage performances and spectators’ responses, this program followed the process used to create idols, which include depicting their daily lives. From a pedagogical perspective, the program depicts self-education, which can also be called “self-technology”: Almost every trainee in the program demonstrates his own desire to become an idol. The gaze of spectators disciplines trainees, and they learn how to behave properly and endear themselves to audiences, ultimately creating for themselves a stylized existence – that of a symbolic idol. After the program ended, the nine final trainees went on to have successful careers. It must be noted, however, that through this process, they risked losing their own subjectivity. This article looks at “Idol Trainee” as an example of how different forms of education diffuse into different social domains, showing that it is necessary for us to discover the mechanism through which this process occurs. pp. 41–46

Keywords: Idol Trainee; self-technology; discipline; gaze


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Department of Education,
East China Normal University

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