Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Transforming the global in local magazines : a multimodal analysis of the Chinese Rayli
Author: Chen, Wei-Ju
ISNI:       0000 0004 6059 1527
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2016
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
In this thesis I study the changing linguistic and visual representations of women at work in the content of the Chinese women's magazine Rayli over a 17-year period. Since China's entry into the WTO in 2001, the Chinese magazine industry has been through dramatic changes partly driven by international titles and franchises being introduced into China from global publishers. Rayli, launched with a licensing agreement with a Japanese partner, is one such example. One question that is raised by scholars about such processes is the way that both western media models become disseminated into new territories and the extent to which these must be localised and adapted to local cultures. So, what is the relationship between traditional local values and advertising lead culture of consumer capitalism? There have in fact been no such studies of Chinese magazines and studies on global/local media of this nature have tended to be more theoretical and used not so clearly defined notions of 'local cultural values'. More recently, scholars have argued that more detailed empirical work is required to throw light on these processes, especially as they apply to specific contexts. The thesis seeks to offer one small yet important contribution in looking for ways such global and local interactions can be clearly defined and identified in the case of a lifestyle magazine. In order to do this, the thesis draws on analytical tools from Critical Discourse Analysis and Multimodality to empirically identify details of the ways that the content of Rayli has been shifting. This approach provides a highly useful set of tools that allows me to point to the specific details of how participants are represented, what they are represented as doing and in which settings they are seen. It allows me to draw out what kinds of ideas, values and priorities the woman held over time. It also allows me to look at the stylistic choices in design over time, such as the use of image types, typeface, colour and composition. In each case, I identify the way that more global forms of representation and design styles interact with both those that are more local and those that are specifically Japanese, coming from Rayli’s parent company. While much of the analysis in the thesis is concerned with changes in Rayli magazine itself, I also make a comparison to the Chinese version of Cosmopolitan magazine. It is through comparing the current Rayli with its former versions and with a US influenced magazine that I assess if, where and how the discourse of women at work have changed. The interpretation of the data is supported with results from interviews carried out with staff at these two titles. The thesis finds shifts in linguistic and visual representations and in design over the 17-year period. The results point to a complex cultural exchange and transformations of what might be thought of as ‘local’ and the international. Gradually, the discourse of women at work in Rayli has been shaped in the neo-capitalist global order and has become intensely mixed up with the sphere of women's libidinal, fantasies and glamour, which lead to the sphere of consumption. This is however achieved by transforming and repacking foreign values and ideas under the mask of local identities, and vice versa, as well as recreating and converting local identities in relation to exterior cultures. A heterogeneous communicative method to (re)produce identity and culture has been created in Rayli.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available