Critical Analysis of ‘Chinese Elements’ in American Television Series

TitleCritical Analysis of ‘Chinese Elements’ in American Television Series
Publication TypeConference Paper
Author(s)Ouyang, C.
Affiliation (1st Author)School of Journalism and Communication, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China
Section or WGPopular Culture Working Group
DateFri 28 June
Slot CodePOPF1a
Slot Code (Keyword)POPF1a
Time of Session9:00-10:30
Session TitleWithout a Meme some Worlds would never be
Submission ID6541

This article defines and classifies ‘Chinese elements’ as part of national image in intercultural communication, and analyzes the ‘Chinese elements’ in major American television series over the last decades in the approaches of content analysis and text analysis. The chronology, genre, theme and attitude are analyzed in content analysis, while the significance of stage-setting (time and space in narratives), assignment of characters and plot lines are analyzed in text analysis. Finally, the author examines the current state of ‘Chinese elements’ in American television series on a macro-level in terms of politics, socioeconomics and culture, in order to shed lights on how to effectively influence and re-direct intercultural communication towards a positive outcome and how to convey national image on China’s part through official and unofficial channels. The conclusions of the research are as follows. First of all, the ‘Chinese’ elements’ in American television series are highly prejudicial and thus correlated with particular political events both in China and America, with agenda-setting, and with cultural hegemony through the ‘mirror’ of the mainstream media. Secondly, ‘Chinese elements’ are on a rise in terms of quantity and quality in American television series. The sampled ‘Chinese elements’ have the tendency towards a neutral and non-stereotyped image of China, which is most likely to be a result of America’s crisis as the only superpower in the world and China’s increasing discourse power in post-recess era. Finally, China’s increasingly active participation in intercultural communication renders significance to communication effect through the mass media. In building China’s national image, both official channels on governmental and institutional levels and unofficial channels through culture and media, need to be properly addressed.

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