Chinese Nationalism And Its Impact On Brands
If there is one sentiment that has paralleled China's relentless rise in the global stakes, it has been the rise in the Chinese citizens' confidence in their nation. There is plenty of good reason for this pride. China has emerged as a global economic force, within the lifetimes of its working population, and many of its political leaders. China's successful staging of the 2008 Olympic Games and its topping the gold medal tally is again a clear sign of the determination of its leaders and people alike to achieve domination - the ‘soft power' for which President Hu Jintao would like the nation to be known for.
In the runup to the Olympics, the term ‘Nationalism' has been a recurrent theme in political, social and business coverage of China. Nationalism refers to either to an ideology, a sentiment, a form of culture, or a social movement that focuses on the nation.1
As an ideology, nationalism holds that ‘the people' in the doctrine of popular sovereignty is the nation, and that as a result only nation-states founded on the principle of national self-determination are legitimate. Contrary to a popular belief, nationalism does not always lead to violence, however, and it plays an integral role in the daily lives of most people around the world. Flags on buildings, the singing of national anthems in schools and at public events, and cheering for national sports teams are all examples of everyday nationalism that is often unselfconscious. Industrialization, democratization, and support for economic redistribution have all been at least partly attributed to the shared social context and solidarity that nationalism provides.
2008 has been, in many ways, a watershed year for China. With the Olympics at the center-stage, the events in Tibet and the Sichuan earthquake have combined to unleash a nationalistic sentiment seen like never before in the contemporary world. For once, a potent combination of social, economic and political forces have buffeted the world of consumption and brands, the implications of which may last for a long, long time. Or will they? To find the answers, it would be worth the while to look back at a chain of events that unleashed a nationalistic fervour among China's people.Download Chinese Nationalism and its Impact on Brands