BABSON PROFESSOR XINGHUA LI EXPLORES DIFFERENCES BETWEEN ‘ENVIRONMENTAL ADVERTISING IN CHINA AND THE USA’
Babson College Assistant Professor of Media Studies Xinghua Li has released her first book entitled, Environmental Advertising in China and the USA: The Desire to Go Green.
In the book, Li analyzes environmental advertising and examines the psycho-cultural differences that disrupt the translation of eco-friendly appeals to China. She explores the different notions of ‘green’, the underlying desires of advertisements, and how each are shaped by ideological, cultural, and historical differences.
The green consumerism movement has often been revered in western societies as an efficient solution to environmental problems. Chinese consumers, on the other hand, have been slow to adopt a similar mindset. Li finds that, for example, these consumers prefer SUVs to hybrid cars, health supplements and snake oil medicines to organic foods, and that eco-fashion is still secluded in high-end designer studios.
Li’s work interrogates the role of advertising in the global spread of Western ideologies, and explores the possibilities for consumers to resist transnational corporate hegemony in the green movement.
“This book fills an important gap in the critical scholarship on green marketing and should be of interest to students and scholars of environment studies, green advertising and marketing, environmental communication and media studies, China studies, and environmental sociology, ethics and cultural studies,” according to Routledge, the leading academic publisher in the Humanities and Social Sciences.
Born and raised in Shanghai, China, Li studies the global spread of consumer capitalism through the perspectives of psycho-analysis, eco-criticism, and critical media theory.
Her previous work used psychoanalysis and post structural theories to explore the relationship between media, desire, and the environment. Li has published in Media, Culture and Society, Environmental Communication: A Journal of Nature and Culture, the anthology Reading Brokeback Mountain, and for three years she authored the "Looking Abroad" Column for The 21st Century, an English-language weekly in Beijing affiliated with the China Daily News Group.
Li also studies the psycho-mechanism of eco-jokes in popular culture and explores the potential to increase public participation in environmentalism through comedy and humor. Another one of her projects employs Freud’s notion of the death drive to understand the relations between deadlines and systematized procrastination in modern capitalistic societies. In addition, she studies the digitization of the Chinese language through the computer keyboard and its impacts on literacy and the calligraphic tradition in China.
At Babson, Li teaches Media Studies; Media, Culture, and the Environment; and Arts and Humanities Foundation. Prior to Babson, she was employed at the University of Iowa and Ohio University where she taught classes in media and communication theory, advertising and consumer culture, and rhetoric and public speaking.
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