Media China: Social Control vs. Social Change

Media China:
Social Control vs. Social Change

Winter 2011
Zhejiang University
Dr. Lu Wei

Course Description
This course examines the interaction of media and society in China. It provides an overview of major theories and perspectives on the social shaping and consequences of Chinese media. Topics range from the development of print, electronic, and digital media, to the political and cultural implications of journalism and communication in China. The main goal of the course is to help students understand the social control and social change dynamics between Chinese media and other social institutions.

Course Objectives
As a result of this course, you will be able to:
Learn about the concepts and theories of media and society;
Acquire basic knowledge of contemporary Chinese media institutions;
Reach a critical understanding of how Chinese media reinforce social control and promote social change.

Course Requirements
1. Attendance. As required by CSP. (10%)

2. Completion of 2 critical reviews. You should pick up one article from each week’s readings and write a critical review (single spaced, 1-2 pages). Each review should consist of (1) a summary of the article, (2) strengths and weaknesses of the research, and (3) One open question and/or idea(s) for future research. Critical reviews are due at the beginning of the class. (60%)

3. Co-leading one discussion session. Each class meeting is divided into two parts. The first is my lecture that provides an overview of that week’s topic. The second is a discussion about the readings co-led by students. Based on one of your critical reviews, you are expected to co-lead a class discussion with your classmates. For your session, you will give a brief presentation summarizing the main arguments from your assigned reading and providing an overview of common themes in that week’s readings. You should work out a list of approximately 2 analytic and open-ended discussion questions covering your reading (e.g., contrasting different perspectives, analyzing underlying assumptions, adding new factors or variables, etc.). Following your presentation, you will facilitate the class discussion and encourage participation by other students. A comparative discussion between China and your country regarding the topic is particularly valued. Students will sign up to lead class discussion in Week 1. (30%)

Tentative Course Schedule

 1 Nov 11, Week 1: Introduction and Media Theories 
    Sign up for discussion assignment

2 Nov 14, Week 2: Comparative Media Systems
   Ostini, J., & Fung, A. Y. H. (2002). Beyond the four theories of the press: A new model of national media systems. Mass Communication & Society, 5(1), 41-56.
   Chan, J. M., & Qiu, J. L. (2002). China: Media liberalization under authoritarianism. In M. E. Price, B. Rozumilowicz and S. G. Verhulst (eds.), Media Reform: Democratizing the media,    democratizing the state. London: Routledge.

3 Nov 21, Week 3: Newspaper in China
   Zhao, Y. (1998). Media, market, and democracy in China: Between the party line and the bottom line. Chicago: University of Illinois Press. Ch.1, Party journalism in China: Theory and  practice.
   Tong, J. (2009). Press self-censorship in China: A case study in the transformation of discourse. Discourse & Society, 20(5), 593-612.

4 Nov 28, Week 4: Magazine in China
   Hung, K., & Li, S. Y. (2006). Images of the contemporary woman in advertising in China: A content analysis. Journal of International Consumer Marketing, 19(2), 7-28.
   Song, G., & Lee, T. K. (2010). Consumption, class formation and sexuality: Reading men’s lifestyle magazines in China. The China Journal, 64, 159-177.

5 Dec 5, Week 5: Television and Radio in China 
   Wang, X. (2010). Entertainment, education, or propaganda? A longitudinal analysis of China Central Television’s Spring Festival Galas. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 54(3), 391-406.
   Wei, L., & Shao, L. (In press). The multi-mediatization of radio in China. In J. A. Hendricks (Ed.), The Palgrave Handbook of Global Radio. Palgrave Macmillan.

6 Dec 12, Week 6: Film in China
   Braester, Y. (2005). Chinese cinema in the age of advertisement: The filmmaker as a cultural broker. The China Quarter, 183, 549-564.
   Wang, T. (2009). Understanding local reception of globalized cultural products in the context of the international cultural economy: A case study on the reception of Hero and Daggers in China. International Journal of Cultural Studies, 12(4), 299-318.

7 Dec 19, Week 7: Internet in China
   Yang, G. B. (2003). The co-evolution of the Internet and civil society in China. Asian Survey, 43(3), 405-422.
   Yang, G. B. (2003). The Internet and the rise of a transnational Chinese cultural sphere. Media Culture & Society, 25(4), 469-482.

8 Dec 26, Week 8: Media Tour in Hangzhou

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