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PhD Defence

Promoting Harmony with Conflicts?

Wednesday 29 June 2016
Academy Building
Rapenburg 73
2311 GJ Leiden

Zheng Li, Promoting Harmony with Conflicts - coverSupervisors

  • Prof. K. Brants
  • Dr. D.C. Stockmann


This study focuses on the production and consumption of a mediation show in China that collaborates with the local Justice Bureau and broadcasts on an entertainment channel—exploring answers to questions raised from the mentioned entertainisation, social and political, and cultural issues.

Findings suggest that media are more independent economically, but not politically. The marketisation of the television industry and the broad political environment forces them to produce contents that must satisfy both the needs of the market and of the authorities. Mediation, in this study, turns out to be the key to pleasing both parties, used as a delicate combination of education, control, propaganda and entertainment. 

The show’s viewers obtain enjoyment from the dramatic storyline and at the same time they are aware of the ‘harmonious’ image the show aims to build. It does not seem difficult for the audience to deal with the cultural contention as they distinguish moral face from social face, and they enjoy the show as long as the ‘face’ issue does not concern themselves. The results also suggest that the political goal in an entertainment format is both acceptable and can be convincing to the audience as a source of useful information.


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PhD dissertations

PhD dissertations by Leiden PhD students are available digitally after the defence through the Leiden Repository, that offers free access to these PhD dissertations. Please note that in some cases a dissertation may be under embargo temporarily and access to its full-text version will only be granted later.

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Inès van Arkel, Scientific Communications Adviser, Leiden University
+31 71 527 3282

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