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5 Medical Advertising and Cultural Translation: The Case of Shenbao in Early Twentieth-Century China

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Chapter Summary

Advertisements in Shenbao, one of the largest and most influential commercial newspapers in Republican Shanghai, have attracted much scholarly attention. Wu Fangzheng's study opens up a new perspective for comparative studies of advertising. Applying this method to analyze medical advertising, we may better understand the ways in which the hybrid concept of the human body took shape in the early Republican period. This chapter views Wu's method by comparing several different advertisements for the same medicines that appeared in Republican China and in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Japan, and Taiwan. By keeping with the core concern of this book, local perceptions of global knowledge, the focus of the analysis is on the role of transnational "cultural translation" in medical advertising. By emphasizing advertising, a critical means of promoting products and introducing ideas, it engages another central tenet of the book, the role of profit in knowledge transmission.

Keywords: China; cultural translation; early Republican period; knowledge transmission; medical advertising; Shenbao; Wu Fangzheng



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