Honors Capstone Project
Date of Submission
Broadcast and Digital Journalism
Capstone Prize Winner
Won Capstone Funding
Broadcast and Video Studies
The 2008 Beijing Olympics was one of the greatest achievements for Chinese people around the world. It was an event that changed Chinese popular culture and made the Chinese people proud of themselves. In the past, China had lost its popular cultural identity because of historical upheavals and what cultural identity it did have was dominated by foreign-influenced ideas. Through hosting and preparing for the 29th Olympiad, China rediscovered its popular cultural identity, which I conclude is a reintroduction of its traditional culture. The country was also able to change how others perceived it. To conduct this study, I interviewed experts from the fields of television, Chinese history, Beijing Opera, and journalism.
There was a period when the recirculation of Western-influenced television shows dominated Chinese popular entertainment. For the Chinese to host the Olympics meant so much more than it would have for any other country; therefore, hundreds of television shows and documentaries were produced and China’s television producing skills improved. The media also softened their style of reporting. All these changes and improvements throughout the society were a result of China’s urge to host the Games. Besides these changes, the Olympics restored to China its popular cultural identity. However, it did not just bring out untouched older traditions and turn them into popular culture. The country reinvented and polished old traditions and made them more appealing to a modern audience. In the future, it will be China that will influence others culturally and lead other nations, and not the other way around.
Ye, Fei, "How The Beijing Olympics Has Changed Chinese Popular Television, Entertainment, and People’s Everyday Lives" (2009). Syracuse University Honors Program Capstone Projects. 476.
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