Academic journal article Asian Culture and History

General Images of America in China since 1972 - Some Reviews on the Questionnaires

Academic journal article Asian Culture and History

General Images of America in China since 1972 - Some Reviews on the Questionnaires

Article excerpt

Abstract

For more than 200 years, America's images in Chinese popular as well as public discourse have experienced both positive and negative phases. This paper is exploring the general images of America in China, focusing on 6 critical periods when Sino-U.S. relations was at the cross-road. The author chose three regions: Shanghai, Jiangsu and Anhui as the subjects of the questionnaires. To follow ground-to-up method, the subjects are all ordinary people and they are supposed to represent the tendency of popular discourse regarding the general images of America in China. The author finds that the general images of America have experienced ups and downs since Shanghai Communique signed in 1972, and one of the driving forces is the two-way operation between the public and the popular discourse, which in the end affects or constrains the thinking of Chinese decision makers who are responsible for China policy towards U.S.

Keywords: Image, America, Sino-U.S. relations, Popular discourse, Public discourse

1. Introduction

The year 2002 welcomes the 30 years anniversary of Shanghai Communique, which marks the beginning of the normalization between China and America. In memory of the historical event, China and America, both sides held a series of conferences and workshops, discussing the ups and downs of the Sino-U.S. relations. In China, Chinese media was fully involved into the nation-wide discussion and celebration. Even the ordinary people, from taxi drivers to retired people, from college students to migrant workers, were talking about the two sides relations in the street or at dinner tables or in the classroom. Such a nation-wide enthusiastic involvement could find its equal in the 1980s when China and America was in their long "Honey Moon" period before Tiananmen Incident broke out. To understand and find out what, how and why Chinese ordinary people are driven into this topic, and what real images of America in their eyes, the author decided to set some questionnaires together with some ground-to-up investigations and interviews to see the evolution of the America's images in China over the past 30 years. When designing the questionnaires, the author chose 6 critical periods when Sino-U.S. relations was at the cross-road as the observing points and located the investigation as well as field study on three different regions like Shanghai (developed), Jiangsu(developing) and Anhui(undeveloped) in terms of the economic development to facilitate this paper upon the questionnaires and interviews. Since the paper is to explore the relationship between the popular discourse (Note 1) and the public discourse (Note 2), the author follows ground-to-up method instead of up-down-to-ground. The subjects are all ordinary people and they are supposed to represent the tendency of popular discourse regarding the general images of America in China.

2. Literature Review

There are roughly two schools in this subject research. One is called insider out, the other is called insider. In 2000, a leading book written from the perspective of insider out, entitled "Limited Adversaries, Sino-American Mutual Images in the Post-Cold War Era" got published by Oxford University Press., which discussed the U.S.-China mutual images in the post-Tiananmen and post-Cold War context. This book theoretically and empirically explored three broad questions as what the cognitive structures and ingredients of Sino-American mutual images are, and how they converge or conflict with each other. The author is a Chinese American, and he starts with the current mutual images of the American and Chinese elites as a base line to examine how the mutual images evolved since the 1970s and what patterns of perceptual change have emerged. The author interviewed many Chinese and American elites to develop his theme that mutual images might affect the bilateral relationship over time. This is the first book to touch a comparative study of U.S. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.