China Media Research - Vol 10, No 1

  Issue Vol. 10, No. 1 / January 2014

[Special Section]
Confucius Institute:
How China Exerts Its Influence through Language Instruction
Guest Editor: Weiming Yao and Rya Butterfield
Introduction: The Confucius Institute as a Communicative Phenomenon
Author(s): Randolph Kluver
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[China Media Research. 2014; 10(1): 1-3]
The New Middle Kingdom: the Symbolic Power of the Confucius Institute’s Pedagogical Approach
Author(s): Weiming Yao
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Confucius Institutes (CI) adopt a “culture rich” pedagogical approach in which extracurricular activities—celebrating Chinese cultural traditions—become the focal points of the curriculum. The pedagogical approach enables students to relive authentic cultural experiences by methods of immediacy, exposure and immersion. Replicating practices of the native Chinese, students become members of an imagined community by forging a common identity and securing emotional ties. As most of the students enter CIs have a friendly predisposition toward China, their positive feelings are reinforced by their experiences at the Institute. It is possible these students will become China’s advocates in the years to come. [China Media Research. 2014; 10(1): 4-12]
Reviving the “Confucius” in Confucius Institute Diplomacy
Author(s): Rya Butterfield
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This essay explores the potential of Confucius Institute (CI) diplomacy to help China engage and develop a humanist, critical, and globally oriented interpretation of the Confucian revival. CI diplomacy draws from the rhetoric of cultural longevity that associates contemporary political legitimacy with cultural durability. There is also a movement in modern Chinese politics, philosophy, and academics to reclaim the cultural roots of Confucianism. Some proponents of this movement support a nationalistic/Maoist interpretation of the Confucian revival. Other proponents of the movement support an interpretation centered on traditional Confucian practices of critical self-cultivation and a modern view of global humanism. Through interactions with CI host nation institutions, the promotion of intercultural activities, the focus on language learning, and the practice of diplomatic listening, CI diplomacy is an opportunity to develop this critical and humanistic interpretation. [China Media Research. 2014; 10(1): 13-21]
Toward International Harmony: The Role of Confucius Institutes in China’s Soft Power Effort
Author(s): Yanjun Zhao
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Given China’s weak international image and the negative Western media coverage of China, this study examines whether/how Confucius Institutes (CIs) initiated a change of American public attitude toward China. Results from in-depth interviews of CI students found that the assumed negative attitude of China was not apparent among the interviewees. Instead of initiating a change in the American public’s perception of China, CIs have been shaping and reinforcing a positive image of China for CI students. In addition, CI students’ positive attitude toward China is more based on its economic success than on the charm of Chinese culture. China’s ability to make the economic achievement translates into respect from the international community. Implications for enhancing China’s international image are provided. [China Media Research. 2014; 10(1): 22-28]
On the Shoulders of Confucius: China’s Century-old Dream
Author(s): Joseph L. Cichosz, Qian Zhang
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This paper, using recent official documents including Confucius Institute Development Plan, 2012-2020 as a text, examines the strategic goals of Confucius Institute and the methods it has applied to its global expansion. Commonly regarded as a projection of China’s soft power, Confucius Institute has been successfully implemented the concept of public diplomacy. In the next few years, the institute aims to achieve its ambitious objectives of integrating professional training into language training and establishing global Chinese language testing and certification mechanisms. The paper argues that language instruction, testing, certification, and other derivative language and cultural products can be a lucrative industry and bring considerable economic gains to China. Soft power of Confucius Institute will be supported by potential billions of dollars of revenue it can generate in a decade to come. Confucius Institute is part of China’s century-old dream to re-emerge as a world’s power. It is China’s contribution to the “Chinese Century.” Above all, it may be China’s new source of economic growth. [China Media Research. 2014; 10(1): 29-34]
Chinese Fever and Cool Heads: Confucius Institutes and China’s National Identities
Author(s): Tracey Fallon
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Confucius Institutes are one of the main channels for China’s programme of “cultural going out”, yet the debates in China around them have as much to do with culture and national identity at home, as they do with cultural influence abroad. This article analyses China’s domestic media to consider how competing views of national identity understand the Confucius Institutes and their role in the production of national identity. It shows that debates around “cultural going out” address desires to see China have greater cultural influence in the world. For the state, the Confucius Institutes can tell “China’s story” and re-adjust the global public’s opinion about China more suited to an identity of great power. Foreign approval is then used to endorse identity claims based on language and culture. Yet, outside of state media, alternative voices from Chinese netizens question the Confucius Institute project when resources are needed for China’s disadvantaged groups. This article discusses the topic of the Confucius Institutes in the context of Chinese national identity discourses at a time when China re-considers its role in the world. [China Media Research. 2014; 10(1): 35-46]
The Chinese Traditional Acceptance of Information In Perspective of Contemporary Communication Study
Author(s): Peiren Shao
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Language is both the representation of humans and the externalization of human nature. And the language used in information acceptance is the "self-portrait" of the audience. So it is possible to infer and analyse the state, regularities and characteristics of ancient Chinese audience by means of focusing on the concepts of traditional information acceptance and their interpretations. Basing on textual research, discrimination and combing of various concepts of information acceptance, the paper comes to a tentative conclusion that "view", "savouring" and "knowing" are three unique concepts of information acceptance in ancient China, by which the state of information acceptance in ancient China are represented and Oriental wisdom are embodied. Also summed up in the paper are the chef features of information acceptance on the part of ancient Chinese audience, namely: (a) zealousness & seriousness; (b) continualness & repetitiveness; (c) thoroughness; (d) hierarchy and graduality; (e) relatedness and snooping. [China Media Research. 2014; 10(1):47-58]
Poetics Is Not a Subject but a Function
Author(s): Eric McLuhan & Peter Zhang
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This dialogue is an exercise in McLuhanesque poetics. It proceeds in spurts, snatches, and, sometimes, staircases. A nomadic sensibility runs throughout. The dialogue format only adds to the nomadic quality. As the interlocutors are populated, so the dialogue is pregnant – with bifurcations, divergences, unresolved tensions, and dangling thoughts that defy Aristotelian cataloguing. The imagined readers are interologists who are capable and fond of starting in the middle, dirt workers who have an ethical aversion against premature cleanliness or petrified narrow seriousness. [China Media Research. 2014; 10(1): 59-71]
The Influence of Communication Traits and Culture on Perceptions of Distance In Intracultural and Intercultural Relationships in the United States
Author(s): Jerry L. Allen, Joan O’Mara, & Kathleen M. Long
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This study investigated the extent to which interpersonal distance in intracultural and intercultural relationships is influenced by predispositions toward communication, operationalized as communication apprehension (CA) and self-reported communication competence (SPCC). Data collected from domestic U. S. and bilingual international participants from high context cultures revealed they similarly were less apprehensive and more competent, and felt more certainty and satisfied and experienced greater interpersonal solidarity when communicating intraculturally. U.S. citizens and international expatriates in the U.S. high in CA and/or low in SPCC were less satisfied communicating intraculturally, and Americans reported less interpersonal solidarity, but neither Americans or internationals reported less certainty in intracultural communication. When interacting interculturally, Americans low in SPCC were less certain and satisfied, and experienced less solidarity, while internationals were less certain and experienced less solidarity. These findings indicate that individuals from both low- and high-context cultures who possess trait predispositions to avoid communication because of high in CA and/or low in SPCC structure intrapersonal and interpersonal relationships to create comfort zones to manage their anxiety and distress. Also, levels of certainty, satisfaction, and interpersonal solidarity experienced interculturally are influenced by the differing emphasis placed on oral communication by low- and high-context cultures, and by different norms for communicating with outgroups. [China Media Research. 2014; 10(1): 72-88]
Urban Youth in China: Modernity, the Internet and the Self
Author(s): Gunjan Singh
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[China Media Research. 2014; 10(1): 89-90]
Similarities and Differences or Similarities in Differences? China’s TV Programming in Global Trend of Neo-liberal Imperialism
Author(s): Shuang Xie
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[China Media Research. 2013; 9(4): 103-114]
SIntercultural Communication Studies by ACCS Scholars on the Chinese: An Updated Bibliography
Author(s): Guo-Ming Chen & Hui-Ching Chung
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Face management embodies comprehensive interpersonal dynamics and explains how people in society use verbal and non-verbal language to manage rapport and to negotiate face needs with each other in order to achieve various interactional goals. Face management behaviour exhibited in the course of an interaction can reflect an interlocutor’s personality, attitude and intentions. In translation, how face management features are represented may impact on translation users’ interpretation of the interpersonal dynamics presented in the source text. In a similar vein, manipulation of face management features in interpretation may be resorted to by the interpreter as an effective means of taking stance with parties and achieving professional competence. Relating the findings to dispute resolution, it will be fruitful to study face management strategies in mediation interactions, how face is represented in interpreting when an interpreter is engaged to facilitate the interaction, and the interpreter’s role and power in the mediation process. [China Media Research. 2013; 9(4): 102-113]
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