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From chop suey to chop-socky: the construction of Chineseness in British television adverts

Bowman, Paul 2020. From chop suey to chop-socky: the construction of Chineseness in British television adverts. JOMEC Journal 15 , pp. 1-29. 10.18573/jomec.198

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Edward Said’s theory of orientalism proposes that Western European culture has overwhelmingly tended to (mis)represent non-European cultures, societies, regions, and ethnic groups via mythic, romantic, simplistic and simplifying sets of binaries. This article asks whether orientalism remains present or active within contemporary media, by analysing the representation of ‘Chineseness’ in British television adverts between 1955 and 2018. It argues that a predictable, recurring, limited set of aural, visual and narrative clichés and stereotypes have functioned – and continue to function – as the principal resources to evoke ‘Chineseness’ in British television adverts. The analysis suggests that caricatures, clichés and stereotypes of China, Chinese people, locations, artifacts and phenomena are so common that there can be said to be a glaring seam of unacknowledged, uninterrogated orientalism functioning to maintain a kind of ‘invisible’ racism in British advertising.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Journalism, Media and Culture
Publisher: Cardiff University Press
ISSN: 2049-2340
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 22 July 2020
Date of Acceptance: 7 July 2020
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2020 07:27

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