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The Global Intercultural Communication Reader, 2e, 2nd Edition by Jing Yin, Yoshitaka Miike, Molefi Kete Asante

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19

Popular Culture and Public Imaginary

Disney vs. Chinese Stories of Mulan

Jing Yin

In this chapter, Jing Yin interrogates the power of U.S. popular cultural text in shaping the public imaginary of non-Western cultures and attempts to open up the possibility of reconstructing alternative narratives, imaginaries, cultural spaces, and identities. Grounded in Stuart Hall’s theory of articulation, she examines how the Chinese legend of a woman warrior was appropriated by Disney to produce the feature film Mulan. She uncovers that in the process of transforming the Chinese story of Mulan into a “universal” classic, Disney projects the Western value of individualism as universal, depicts Chinese culture as Oriental despotism, and co-opts feminism ...

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