Documentaries and China’s National Image  book cover
1st Edition

Documentaries and China’s National Image


Chen Yi

ISBN 9781032314334
Published August 30, 2022 by Routledge
254 Pages 38 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Emphasizing the role of documentary in shaping a nation-state’s image, demonstrating social development and promoting cultural exchanges, this book examines the changes in China’s national image in documentaries at home and abroad since 1949.

Based on theoretical frameworks of media sociology, political economy of communication and cultural studies, the book traces the development of Chinese documentary and discusses social transformation and cultural representation embodied in documentaries related to China. It is revealed how these works witness, reflect and interact with social transitions in all aspects of a modernizing China, as well as how documentary production struggles among and mediates between technology, market, ideology, social forces and professionalism. In terms of future prospects of documentary in an era when media convergence is burgeoning, the author explores feasible paths to further promotion of cross-cultural communication and China’s national image, by analyzing documentary aesthetics and representative cases of documentary practice.

The title will appeal to scholars and students interested in culture and communication, documentary, film, media and Chinese society.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: The Dissemination of National Image and the Function of Documentary Films 2. From “Illustrated China” to “Diverse China” 3. The Nation State in Documentaries 4. Social Changes in Documentaries 5. “Cultivating People Morally and Intellectually” in the Documentary 6. The Succession of Documentary Aesthetics 7. Typical Cases in China and Abroad 8. Conclusion: Chinese documentary thinking against the background of media integration

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Chen Yi is a professor at Soochow University, China. His research interests are documentary, critical visual communication and media convergence.