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Title:Cultural Values Reflected in Chinese Advertisements: Self -Construal and Persuasion Implications
Author(s):Zhang, Jing
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Shavitt, Sharon
Department / Program:Communications
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Anthropology, Cultural
Abstract:This dissertation explores three issues regarding the role of advertising in reshaping Chinese cultural values. First, the content of advertising promotes individualism and modernity values. Second, individualistic advertisements shift individuals' cultural orientations (self-construals). And third, such value-shifting influences individuals' attitudes, thoughts, and behavioral choices. Three studies were conducted focusing on the Chinese X-Generation market and comparing it with the mass market. In Study 1, content analyses indicated that modernity and individualism values predominated in Chinese advertising and that they were more prevalent in advertisements directed toward the X-Generation than in those directed toward mass audiences. In contrast, collectivism and tradition values were more prevalent in advertisements targeting mass audience than in those targeting the X-Generation. Hence, this study suggests that advertising in China is promoting more individualistic values to the X-Generation market than to the mass market. In Study 2, experimental research showed that, when the X-Generation was defined as younger Chinese adults, individualistic and collectivistic advertisements were found to temporarily shift their self-construals toward independence or interdependence. When the X-Generation was defined as high individualists with high English education, individualistic advertisements were shown to elicit more independent self-construals, less interdependent self-construals, than did collectivistic advertisements. In Study 3, although not statistically significant, the directional differences seemed to suggest that among the X-Generation defined as younger Chinese adults, an exposure to individualistic advertisements tended to elicit more favorable private-self thoughts whereas an exposure to collectivistic advertisements tended to elicit more favorable collective-self thoughts. When the X-Generation was defined as high individualists with high English education, it was shown consistently that they tended to generate more favorable private-self thoughts and to make more individualistic choices when exposed to individualistic advertisements than when exposed to collectivistic advertisements. As a whole, this dissertation points out the important role of advertising in China, in that, advertisements in China are not only an important site of cultural change in today's Chinese society, but can potentially be an agent of such change as well.
Issue Date:2004
Description:221 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2004.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3153479
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-28
Date Deposited:2004

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