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Richard Madsen - Discussant for Panel 5: Chinese and a Black President, Blacks and China

Richard Madsen discussed the fifth panel of the conference Through Tinted Lenses? How Chinese and Americans See Each Other, hosted by the USC U.S.-China Institute.

November 10, 2013

About the Speaker

Richard Madsen teaches sociology at the University of California, San Diego where he also directs the UC-Fudan Center and is provost of Eleanor Roosevelt College. He's written widely on Chinese and American cultures. His books include include Democracy's Dharma: Religious Renaissance and Political Develpment in Taiwan, Morality and Power in a Chinese Village, and China and the American Dream. His co-authored or co-edited books Chen Village under Mao and Deng, Unofficial China, Popular China, and Restless China are staples on many course syllabi.


This video is also available on the USCI YouTube Channel.

Through Tinted Lenses? How Chinese and Americans See Each Other

What do Americans and Chinese "know" about each other and how do they know it? What images do they have of each other's society and state? Where do these images come from? Why do some endure and others change? How do images vary with age and other factors? How do these perceptions affect the decisions and actions of governments, businesses, civic groups, and individuals?

On November 1-2, 2013, leading academics gathered with pollsters, journalists, diplomats, and entertainment industry practitioners to explore these questions and questions and others at a conference hosted by the USC U.S.-China Institute.

Polls suggest that a slight majority of Americans believe that the values of Chinese and Americans are so different that cooperation to address international problems is impossible. Most Chinese feel the U.S. is working to constrain China's continued rise. Americans and Chinese have increasingly negative impressions of each other's countries. Yet, we are visiting each other's countries more than ever before, becoming ever more intertwined, and are working cooperatively in many different ways to address pressing social, economic, and environmental issues. At the conference we examined how these exchanges affect perceptions along with the even more powerful role played by new and old media, popular entertainment, and political discourse.