Li Nai, QIAOAN Runya
University of York, Year 3 PhD in cultural studies
As Aynne Kokas has observed, “the PRC market has become a powerful force in the global media industries, and Hollywood has noticed”(2017：19). Against this background, my PhD project focuses on the ways in which Chinese audiences reflect on recent Hollywood films that are blended with Chinese elements, and how they make sense of Hollywood films that are specially designed to appeal to them. I also look at the relationship between cultural policy and the strategy of making Hollywood films for the Chinese film market on the one hand, and the responses of Chinese adult audiences on the other hand in the context of debates about globalization, especially focusing on the cultural dimensions of globalization, and the concept of cultural convergence. The project thus involves both theoretical and empirical research. Up to now, I undertook a survey of 800 Chinese people and 35 in-depth interviews. In my paper, I will demonstrate two aspects of my audience research findings. First, I will explore whether Chinese audiences enjoy watching Hollywood films with Chinese elements. Secondly, I will explore Chinese audiences’ attitudes towards the representation of Chinese elements in Hollywood films, and how this compares to their responses to popular Chinese films in recent years. In particular, I will explore the way my respondents engage with ideas of individualism and collectivism in such films. Moving beyond the textual analysis and semiological approaches in existing research conducted by previous researchers, this project will thus improve understanding of China-friendly Hollywood films by Chinese audiences.
Reference Kokas, A. (2017). Hollywood Made in China. California: University of California Press.
Palacky University, Researcher
China’s Global Role in Chinese Eyes : A Discourse Analysis of Belt and Road Initiative in Chinese New Media
This study examines the construction of a “benevolent and responsible China” discourse on Chinese semi-official social media. Through critical cultural discourse analysis of over 50 articles related to Belt and Road Initiative on Wechat public account, we notice that the image of a benevolent China saving the world through its overseas projects is (re)produced, intensified and popularised. To be specific, in these articles, the Belt and Road Initiative is portrayed in a positive light — tackling real-world needs, being supported by recipient nations and welcomed by most countries. Even though the official rhetoric of “win-win” and “shared destiny of humankind” are rarely used, the approachable and vivacious language of these articles made them more accessible to the general public. This process shows how Chinese party-state uses semi-official social media account to penetrate the social discussion and influence Chinese public perception of its policies. It offers implications for how the cyberspace can be used in the new era to justify the Chinese government’s overseas actions in Chinese public eyes and increase the state legitimacy in the long run. The research sheds light on the domestic propaganda of Belt and Road Initiative in China, showing how the self vs. other is constructed in the new world order that China is trying to shape. Furthermore, it also reflects the entanglement between discourse, power, and ideology in Chinese new media.