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Title: Chinese Soft Power through Media Products: Its Projection and Reception in South Korea and Japan
Keywords: soft power, China, TV series, CCTV International, South Korea, Japan
Issue Date: 20-Jan-2014
Source: LEE SEUNG EUN (2014-01-20). Chinese Soft Power through Media Products: Its Projection and Reception in South Korea and Japan. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: On the now common understanding that with its rapid economic development China has progressively gained recognition on the world stage, this thesis aims to offer a sociological understanding of China?s ambition to project its soft power via media products, and the way in which it is constructed and received in the target countries. Based on field research carried out in 2011-2012 in China, South Korea, and Japan, this research explores the reception of its media products (commercial TV series and CCTV International) in South Korea and Japan. It considers how China?s projection of soft power is shaped by the foreign/cultural policy of the PRC and the receiving country?s setting within the soft power field. The emphasis is on how commercial media products and state-governed news media are used to realize China?s cultural globalization strategy in the construction of its soft power. The argument is proffered that media products, which have potential soft power influence, are controlled and managed by the state, media institutions and the market demands of the importing country. It is shown that the South Korean government usually regulates foreign commercial media products in order not to give unnecessary exposure of foreign countries to the Korean society, while the Japanese government does not have a strong state regulation. Evidence is also given to show that the foreign media products are not only managed by market structures and media practitioners? engagement, but that they are also filtered by accommodating to the market demands of the society. The study then goes on to show that locally embedded consumption shapes the South Koreans and Japanese experience in their understanding, consumption, and reception of Chinese soft power. This is exemplified in the tug of war between China and other ?Chinese? products (Hong Kongese and Taiwanese) and is well represented in South Korean and Japanese consumers? ambivalent and complicated attitudes towards Chinese media products. The thesis then offers a case study of CCTV International as a medium of Chinese soft power that has found it relatively difficult to reach foreign audiences due to market structures and questionable attractiveness to the audiences. It is shown that the market penetration of CCTV International is restricted to the local market structure, and the audience?s exposure to the channel is managed by the market penetration and the perception of the news contents. The conclusions of the study can be summarized: (1) Soft power is an interactive process in which both the exporting country and importing country co-produce possible outcomes to generate soft power influence; (2) China?s policy trajectory and institutional setting are important for the production of Chinese soft power; (3) The receiving countries? market structure and demands, domestic institutions play an integral role in shaping the soft power field for China; and (4) The logic of China?s projection of its soft power is highly contingent on how the media market of the recipients is structured and how the importing countries perceive China.
Appears in Collections:Ph.D Theses (Open)

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