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Produce Wu Lei : a national icon or a product? a case study on national identity and sports media in China

Guo, Ruihao LU (2020) MKVM13 20201
Media and Communication Studies
Department of Communication and Media
Abstract
The master thesis "Produce Wu Lei: a National Icon or a Product? - A Case Study on National Identity and Sports Media in China" studies the news coverage of a Chinese professional footballer - Wu Lei, by conducting a multi-method qualitative case study to analyze the representation of him in Chinese media. This thesis aims to understand the interrelation between football, media and national identity, and the ways economic value and social value influence news production in China.

The study is theoretically informed by the notion of national identity (Benedict Anderson and Eric Hobsbawm), media semiotics and mythology (Jonathan Bignell and Roland Barthes) and sports masculinity (Garry Whannel). This thesis has filled a gap between... (More)
The master thesis "Produce Wu Lei: a National Icon or a Product? - A Case Study on National Identity and Sports Media in China" studies the news coverage of a Chinese professional footballer - Wu Lei, by conducting a multi-method qualitative case study to analyze the representation of him in Chinese media. This thesis aims to understand the interrelation between football, media and national identity, and the ways economic value and social value influence news production in China.

The study is theoretically informed by the notion of national identity (Benedict Anderson and Eric Hobsbawm), media semiotics and mythology (Jonathan Bignell and Roland Barthes) and sports masculinity (Garry Whannel). This thesis has filled a gap between national identity and sports in East Asian countries. It also offers an opportunity to look into the issue of sports and nationalism from an economic perspective. The thesis is positioned at a multidisciplinary crossroad of social science and political science.

The findings illustrate that football is regarded as a tool to challenge Western hegemony in Chinese society. Therefore, after Wu Lei transferred to RCD Espanyol, he has been regarded as the spokesperson of Chinese football in the world. The media mainly build identity on him in two ways. On the one hand, the media continually emphasizes his nationality attribute and creates a binary opposition between "Chinese player Wu Lei" and "other players". On the other hand, the media build national confidence by strengthening Wu Lei's masculinity and identifying him as a national myth. When it comes to social value and economic value, the representation of Wu Lei in Chinese media reflect both the good and bad power of the media. The media attract internet traffics and make profits by selling the national emotion. Nevertheless, the way media cover Wu Lei is also influenced by the new digital environment and those Chinese media are struggling to find a better way to balance the social responsibilities and economic benefits at the same time. (Less)
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author
Guo, Ruihao LU
supervisor
organization
course
MKVM13 20201
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Wu Lei, national identity, nationalism, sports media, football, news production, consumerism, media power, myth, China
language
English
id
9009366
date added to LUP
2020-06-16 08:57:20
date last changed
2020-06-16 08:57:20
@misc{9009366,
  abstract     = {The master thesis "Produce Wu Lei: a National Icon or a Product? - A Case Study on National Identity and Sports Media in China" studies the news coverage of a Chinese professional footballer - Wu Lei, by conducting a multi-method qualitative case study to analyze the representation of him in Chinese media. This thesis aims to understand the interrelation between football, media and national identity, and the ways economic value and social value influence news production in China.

The study is theoretically informed by the notion of national identity (Benedict Anderson and Eric Hobsbawm), media semiotics and mythology (Jonathan Bignell and Roland Barthes) and sports masculinity (Garry Whannel). This thesis has filled a gap between national identity and sports in East Asian countries. It also offers an opportunity to look into the issue of sports and nationalism from an economic perspective. The thesis is positioned at a multidisciplinary crossroad of social science and political science.

The findings illustrate that football is regarded as a tool to challenge Western hegemony in Chinese society. Therefore, after Wu Lei transferred to RCD Espanyol, he has been regarded as the spokesperson of Chinese football in the world. The media mainly build identity on him in two ways. On the one hand, the media continually emphasizes his nationality attribute and creates a binary opposition between "Chinese player Wu Lei" and "other players". On the other hand, the media build national confidence by strengthening Wu Lei's masculinity and identifying him as a national myth. When it comes to social value and economic value, the representation of Wu Lei in Chinese media reflect both the good and bad power of the media. The media attract internet traffics and make profits by selling the national emotion. Nevertheless, the way media cover Wu Lei is also influenced by the new digital environment and those Chinese media are struggling to find a better way to balance the social responsibilities and economic benefits at the same time.},
  author       = {Guo, Ruihao},
  keyword      = {Wu Lei,national identity,nationalism,sports media,football,news production,consumerism,media power,myth,China},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Produce Wu Lei : a national icon or a product? a case study on national identity and sports media in China},
  year         = {2020},
}