Identifying changes in narratives in Chinese propaganda using multimodal discourse analysis
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The fields of Chinese foreign policy soft-power is a fiercely debated areas of study. However, the narratives espoused by the Chinese government and more directly, the Chinese Communist Party are often ignored outside of formal publications. One of the most ignored subjects is how the Chinese government attempts to craft its own image in the international system. This thesis will use multimodal discourse analysis to analyze changes in narratives presented in music videos created by the Chinese government under the leadership of Hu Jintao for the Olympics. The analysis will cover various aspects of the videos such as lyrics, visuals and participants to explain the cultural contexts behind them and how they change over time. The analysis will begin with the pivotal Beijing Olympics in 2008 and end near 2012 just before the confirmation of Xi Jinping. The analysis demonstrates a China that begins unsure of how to present itself to the international community and changes over a course of four years to become far more confident in its place in the international community and its overall image. This increase in confidence is what set the stage for Xi Jinping’s more assertive policies beginning after 2012.
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