Cimino, Angelo Maria (2016). The Mediated Myth of Lin Zexu. PhD thesis, Universität zu Köln.


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The present study aims at determining the role played by the media representations of the myth of Lin Zexu in China. It precisely attempts to illustrate how, as a media form of popular culture, the myth of Lin Zexu epitomizes precise practices of representations embedded in a wider cultural network whithin which, determined actors, agencies, signs, and practices – somewhat struggling and interacting over the production, communication and consumption of specific meanings and ideologies – give shape to a peculiar articulation of the social and cultural texture of Chinese society. The subject of this study are thus a series of representations of Lin Zexu conveyed by distinct Chinese media since 1978. I endeavour at analysing how Lin Zexu is a meaning-making resource produced and communicated by specific Chinese media such as Television products and various Internet content, and consumed by Chinese media users through a multiplicity of media forms – movies, documentaries, digital images, cartoon, songs, Internet database research engines, microblogs, and digital photographs – in order to allow the constructed myth of Lin Zexu of upholding Chinese society’s institutions, to legitimize its rulers, to celebrate their values, and more generally to preserve China’s trajetory and the specific way of life that follows it. By semiotically examining Lin Zexu representations’ content and meaning, their political economy of production, and partially the users’ reception and response to such media representations, I try to weave the cultural network that they generate and are simultaneously part of. This work also wishes to address the specific modalities through which the media forms of the myth of Lin Zexu exemplify a diversified cultural phenomena that I understand as the mediatisation of historical knowledge, that is the process through which the historical is culturally produced by the Chinese media – TV products, movies, Internet various content – in the form of a myth (Lin Zexu’s), supposedly conveying historical truth, and thence becoming facilitators of specific cultural experiences that people are taught and/or encouraged to recognize as Chinese history, namely their past.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD thesis)
CreatorsEmailORCIDORCID Put Code
Cimino, Angelo Mariaciminoangelomaria@gmail.comUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
URN: urn:nbn:de:hbz:38-78749
Date: 20 September 2016
Language: English
Faculty: Faculty of Arts and Humanities
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Fächergruppe 4: Außereuropäische Sprachen, Kulturen und Gesellschaften > Ostasiatisches Seminar
Subjects: Generalities, Science
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Lin Zexu, Myth, Representation, Media form, Sign, Network, Mediation, Popular culture, Ideology, ImageEnglish
Date of oral exam: 15 November 2016
NameAcademic Title
Kramer, StefanProf. Dr.
Refereed: Yes


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