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Yang Lihui, Mythologism:Reconstructing Mythology in Heritage Tourism and Electronic Media, 2000

Published: 2021-11-26





Reconstructing Mythology in Heritage Tourism and Electronic Media





This monograph creatively reinterprets the concept of mythologism to refer to the appropriation and reconstruction of mythologies under the influence of modern cultural industries and electronic media technology since the second half of the twentieth century. Using the theoretical perspective of this new concept, the book comprehensively examines the representation and reconstruction of contemporary Chinese mythology in heritage tourism and electronic media, analyzes the textual characteristics and essential attributes of mythologism, and explores the interrelationship between the production of mythologism and the social and cultural circumstances of contemporary China. Using ethnographic field research on heritage tourism cases involving the Han, Hani, and Miao (ethnic groups), as well as investigation of the Internet, movies, television, and video games, this book vividly demonstrates that mythologism is the second life of mythology. Mythology and mythologism are different from each other, yet also related in a cyclical and interactive relationship. This monograph broadens the traditional research field of mythology, and helps experts and ordinary readers understand the vitality of myth across its complete life history.




Book Blurb from Dr. Mark Bender


In this ground-breaking volume, Prof. Yang Lihui shows us how myths rooted deeply in the Chinese past find new relevancy and expression in the contemporary world. The author draws on fieldwork in contemporary rural and urban settings and within the online, multi-media world to advance the theory of “shenhua zhuyi” (“mythologism”). This unique perspective combines interpretations and modifications of Western theories of folkloristics and “the process of folklore” theory with present Chinese realities of heritage construction and interpretation. The theory both compliments and offers alternatives to traditional orientations towards mythology that rely on the study of ancient texts and archeological evidence. This new “shenhua zhuyi” allows scholarly interpretation of living myths that are emerging in many ways and many directions in everyday life in China today and creating new dimensions in the heritage of Chinese myth. Of especial relevance are the insights into how younger generations, equipped with the tools of electronic interaction, are creating new myth-ways on cell phones and computers which bring the past into the present in new forms. Prof. Yang’s theories have relevance not only in China, but will find resonance in other societies of East Asia and worldwide.

——Mark Bender, Professor of Folklore at the Ohio State University








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