Qingru Xu and Peggy J. Kreshel, (Forthcoming). “State v. Professional: A Case Study of How Chinese New Media Construct Elite Female Athletes.” International Journal of Sport Communication.
Abstract: In this case study, we examined media representations of two Chinese female athletes in China, a nation undergoing social transformation and a sports-reform initiative: state athlete Ding Ning and professional athlete Li Na. Analyzing stories from two Chinese web portals (i.e., Sina and Tencent), we analyzed how (a) gender, (b) nationalism, and (c) the individualism-collectivism continuum entered into media representations of these two female athletes. Notable differences emerged in all three conceptual areas. A fourth theme, which we have identified as “commercialized athlete,” also emerged. Possible explanations and implications are discussed.