[Author’s Name] [Class] 06 August 2011 Advertising, Media and Communication: How Advertising Is Creating New China Introduction Advertising is an integral component of the global consumer culture. A driver of trade and business, advertising has grown to become a distinct area of research and the source of major influences on cross-cultural identity formation…
China is no exception: a country with a long history of communism, China slowly adopts a new, westernized vision of the global reality. Chinese media reflect and contribute to the development of new consumer images. The influence of advertising on individual and collective identities is difficult to overestimate. More important are the influences of media advertising on the development of gender relations and the changing perceptions of femininity in the postmodern Chinese culture. A content analysis of Chinese printed ads will provide a brief insight into the role of media and advertising in creating the country’s female ideals. Advertising and the making of new China: Setting the context How advertising shapes new China is a question surrounded by much controversy. It is no secret that the end of the 1970s marked a new stage in the political, economic, and cultural evolution of China. Since the end of the 1970s, China has changed dramatically from being predominantly Marxist to a becoming a new, market-socialist country (Tse, Belk & Zhou 457). The no-advertising culture gave place to a well-developed advertising infrastructure, which both facilitates and is facilitated by the rapid development of modern media sources and consumer values (Tse, Belk & Zhou 457). ...
Chinese consumers gradually realize the value of market openness. In their consumer choices they mostly rely on the popular media sources. Product choices in China are no longer limited to bicycles and wristwatches but make Chinese consumers think twice, before they choose the best of the best in highly competitive Chinese and international markets (Tse, Belk & Zhou 458). Against the background of market openness and relative freedom of competition, the Chinese media have become an important carrier of unique cultural meanings. Advertising does not merely sell goods but has the strong potential to create a new collective identity (Johansson 357). Advertising creates a new image of self in Chinese consumers; it strengthens the sense of belonging to one or several societal groups; eventually, advertising creates a distinct borderline between Self and Others, but whether advertising praises or judges otherness depends on numerous contextual factors (Johansson 357). Chinese media contexts are extremely complex and diverse. They create and sustain a self-otherness dichotomy which characterizes most, if not all, media processes in today’s China. Women are excessively susceptible to this type of media influences. It would be fair to assume that the role of women in the Chinese society and advertising in popular media are closely interrelated: the media reflect the dramatic changes in the women-society relationship and, simultaneously, drive the development of new gender realities. Advertising shapes new China, through new typologies of women and changes in female perceptions of Chinese cultural realities. This is probably why the role of advertising in the development of female identities and their implications for new ...
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