What kind of connotations does 宣传 have in the modern PRC?

Positive or negative?

I've read in some modern English-language academic work that 宣传 has recently been/is becoming more negative in its connotations, possibly due to the influence of the negative connotation of English's "propaganda".

But on the other hand, I've also read Chinese sources asserting that it doesn't necessarily have negative connotations.
 
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Shun

状元
Hi 明,

I feel that 宣传 is one of those words that have negative connotations for some people, and neutral/positive ones for others, depending on their role in society. Have you already noticed this Wikipedia article?


It also stresses the difference between the formal and informal usage of the word. Perhaps the source [Edney 2014] could be worth a read. Are you writing the essay in a linguistic context, or as an opinion essay?

Cheers, Shun
 
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Hi 明,

I feel that 宣传 is one of those words that have negative connotations for some people, and neutral/positive ones for others, depending on their role in society. Have you already noticed this Wikipedia article?


It also stresses the difference between the formal and informal usage of the word. Perhaps the source [Edney 2014] could be worth a read. Are you writing the essay in a linguistic context, or as an opinion essay?

Cheers, Shun
Hi Shun!

Apologies for the delayed reply, I've been away from my computer/study for a while.

The essay I am writing is a general analysis of propaganda in the modern PRC. I hadn't checked the Wikipedia page you referred to, but it looks quite fruitful.

Here are two Chinese-language sources I have so far:

- 'propaganda 汉语带褒义, 指"宣传", 英语是贬义, 指"传播带有偏见的消息"' (Hu, Y., 2013 - 英语口语习得自然规律研究)

- '英语中的propaganda译成汉语为"宣传", 但是需要注意的是, 在英语中, propaganda 一词往往和当年纳粹的反动宣传联系在一起, 所以是贬义的. 而汉语中的"宣传"一词却是中性的, 有时还有褒义...' (Cui, S. & Han, X., 2015 - 英语文化与翻译研究)

But I am skeptical as to whether these assertions really can be said to represent the word's connotations - if, indeed, that is possible. As you point out, it could be a word with decidedly mixed connotations among different audiences.
 

Shun

状元
Hi 明,

that's all right! I’d be glad to help you further, when you have exhausted your current sources and may have run into other specific questions. Since you are writing more of a general essay on the phenomenon of propaganda, perhaps you could also elegantly skirt the topic of connotations if you're unable to find a clear answer. After all, connotations work more on a linguistic level, and in my view, they only form a relatively small part of the subject.

Shun
 
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