Email: Hao dot xie at warwick dot ac dot uk
I am a first year PhD in Media and Communication at CMPS. Prior returning to Warwick, I obtained my MSc degree in Strategic Marketing (Distinction) from Imperial College London and MA degree in Creative and Media Enterprises at CMPS, Warwick.
My interdisciplinary study and work experiences across media, creative industries, and marketing sectors empower me with multidisciplinary capabilities and great curiosity in looking into the national culture, identity, and global communication issues. My PhD research focuses on the transnational “branding” of China’s national identity. Specifically, how the Chinese national identity is “grandly” projected and narrated by its state-owned international media, how the mediated “identity” dovetails (or conflicts) with transnational audiences’ self-identity and decoding patterns, and to what extent this process contributes to the construction of China’s soft power.
“Nation branding” and “soft power” are consistently buzzwords in today’s neo-liberal globalisation since Simon Anholt and Joseph Nye coined the two terms respectively in the 1990s. The terms were initially originated in Marketing and International Relations disciplines, where most of the relevant studies were “instrumentalist” in its nature, leading to a relative understatement of critical researches.
Branding, by its nature, is anti-democracy, as it requires a single identity in most cases. Nation branding further complicates the issue, since how we can (or do we really can) adopt a simplified logic for a nation, an imagined community that is highly complex and continually evolving rather than a fixed product. By examining the official media contents and transnational audiences’ identification, this research wishes to make reflective thinking about contemporary China’s international communication practices, China’s approach to consolidating its national identity through media, and the its embedded social and cultural reasons and relevant issues.
Dr Pietari Kaapa supervises my project.