Aesthetic resources in contemporary Chinese politics

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This essay argues for the primacy of aesthetic resources, which use appeals to the senses and emotions more than interpersonal negotiation or empirical reasoning, in contemporary Chinese political communication. Chinese officials and citizens create politically acceptable utterances by assembling existing aesthetic resources in particular orders. This strategy has partly been forced on the party state by its internally contradictory history and has partly resulted from the use of advertising and marketing techniques. Excessive reliance on aesthetic resources, and the miscellaneous and inconsistent nature of the resources chosen, may prove to be a political weakness for the party state.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)606-626
Number of pages21
JournalCritical Inquiry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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