Cultural Values in Chinese Children's Animation: A Content Analysis of The Legend of Nezha
Zhang, Yan Bing
American Chinese Media Research Association and Communication Studies Institute of Zhejiang University
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This study examined the dominant cultural value themes in The Legend of Nezha, a 52-episode Chinese award winning television animation series for children. Two contextual factors, the image and sex of the characters who endorsed the value themes in the scenes (N = 963), were also examined. Content analysis results showed that the traditional values (e.g., Hierarchy, Friendship, Wisdom, Perseverance, Collectivism, Humanitarianism, Family, and Nature) were more prevalent than the nontraditional themes (e.g., Self-interest, Pleasure, Equality, Beauty/youth, and Romanticism). In addition, the traditional values (except hierarchy) were more frequently associated with positive characters than with negative ones; the nontraditional value themes (except equality) were more frequently associated with negative characters than with positive ones. Furthermore, some values such as hierarchy, perseverance, harmony/collectivism and equality were more endorsed by male characters than by female characters; some values such as family, beauty/youth, and self-interest were endorsed more by female characters than by male characters. Altogether, these findings have indicated that some fundamental traditional Chinese values still dominate the mainstream culture albeit certain nontraditional values (e.g., self-interest, pleasure, and romanticism) are gaining their prominence in an age of modernization and globalization.
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Song, Y., & Zhang, Y. B. (2008). Cultural Values in Chinese Children's Animation: A Content Analysis of The Legend of Nezha. China Media Research, 4, 18-27.
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