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Über dieses Buch

This book introduces researchers, students and the general public to an intriguing phenomenon at the intersection of diverse fields: national branding. In particular, it uses representative cases particularly to show how China responded to major challenges, not only in the distant past, but also especially in our hectic age of national image construction. By pursuing an interdisciplinary, socio-historical approach, the book sheds new light on the role of cultural symbols in national image building. As such, readers will learn how China has exploited its “black-and-white” tradition – calligraphy and painting – in the construction of a national image.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. An Overview of Theories of National Image

Abstract
As a country’s vital intangible asset, national image is the centerpiece and an essential expression of its soft power. Strengthening the research on theories of national image bears great theoretical and practical significance: the analysis of national image’s connotations, functions, effects and methods of construction will shed light on how to construct our national image, further improve the relevance and effectiveness of construction, give full play to national image’s influence, cohesion and powerful appeal, and eventually realize our national strategic intent.
Xiangfei Meng

Chapter 2. Perceptual Barriers to China’s National Image and Their Causes

Abstract
A review of China’s history of international exchanges can unveil the Westerners’ ever-shifting impressions, or imagination, of the country.
Xiangfei Meng

Chapter 3. National Image from a Constructivist Perspective

Abstract
From the ontological perspective, national image was traditionally seen as an entity with objective reality and even invariability.
Xiangfei Meng

Chapter 4. The Application of Cultural Symbols and the Misunderstanding of Cultural Symbols

Abstract
Given the fact that symbols are the means of communication, information is usually realized in symbols of one kind or another.
Xiangfei Meng

Chapter 5. The International Communication of Cultural Symbols in the Construction of China’s National Image

Abstract
National image is a complex and multi-dimensional concept with rich connotations. It is constituted by sub-images portraying a country’s economy, government, general public, culture and security. Chinese culture can be expressed through a wide spectrum of symbols. In a certain period, a given cultural symbol may be used to promote a particular sub-image, but it may also work against other sub-images at the same time, especially the core image. For example, cultural symbols like the Terracotta Army and imperial court exhibitions are valuable to constructing the image of “an ancient civilization.” However, they can also mislead the international community into thinking that the Chinese people were belligerent, ignorant and backward, thus hindering the construction of the image featuring “peaceful development.”
Xiangfei Meng

Chapter 6. China’s Black-and-White Art: An Important Cultural Symbol of China’s Peaceful Development

Abstract
Culture is one of the most important and fundamental factors in the construction of national image.
Xiangfei Meng

Backmatter

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