Sport and Corporate Nationalisms

By Michael L. Silk; David L. Andrews et al. | Go to book overview

12
Cultural Contradictions/
Contradicting Culture:
Transnational Corporations
and the Penetration of the
Chinese Market1

Trevor Slack, Michael L. Silk and Fan Hong

Rujing ernjin; ruguo erwenshu; rumen erwenhui

[If you enter a region, ask what its prohibitions are;

If you visit a country, ask what its customs are;

If you cross a family's threshold, ask what its taboos are.]

Li Ji, The Book of Rites

Within this chapter we provide a preliminary analysis of the processes involved in the international restructuration of China through the lens of the Chinese sportingscape. We begin by contextualizing the broad global political, economic and cultural shifts that began in the 1970s and have, in some cases, led to the erosion of nation-states and national identity. For China, these transformations in political, economic and cultural life are particularly interesting given the potential clashes that may occur as Western capitalism and neo-liberal democracy meet deeply ingrained tradition and Confucian ideologies and practices. We explore these tensions, as they are manifest in the structure and operations of sport in China and the operations of transnational organizations seeking to penetrate the Chinese marketplace. In the first section of the paper we provide a discussion of the broad contextual shifts that are the driving forces of the new global economy. In the next section we look specifically at China and the attempts by transnationals (including some in the sport industry) seeking new markets and production sites, to penetrate the country and some of the issues and

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