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Spectacular China: Performing Pessoptimism in 21st Century China

dc.contributor.advisor Ching, Leo Zhu, Samuel 2019-05-13T02:43:38Z 2019-05-13T02:43:38Z 2019-04
dc.description.abstract This paper uses three Chinese cultural performances as a lens through which to study how China has navigated the global system of Western modernity in order to present a successful image in the Chinese state’s CCTV Chinese New Year Galas and 2008 Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony. I draw from Guy Debord’s theory of the Spectacle to unpack the implicit ideologies which permeate these spectacular performances. Beyond understanding the events’ role as propaganda, my work attempts to read the state’s unnamed ideologies. The Spectacle of modernity reveals itself throughout the cultural performances in the forms of liberal democracy, universalism and capitalism. I read China’s ideology of modernity as an application of William Callahan’s theory of Chinese “pessoptimism,” indicative of an implicit standard of Westernization as modernity caused by China’s history of colonial humiliations at the hands of Western powers.
dc.language.iso en_US
dc.subject China
dc.subject spectacle
dc.subject pessoptimism
dc.subject Olympics
dc.subject performance
dc.title Spectacular China: Performing Pessoptimism in 21st Century China
dc.type Honors thesis
dc.department International Comparative Studies
duke.embargo.months 0

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