Phase 3: Interpreting Information

Updated 1 week 1 day ago

I picked my Inquiry Project in Phase 0, asked ten thoughtful questions about it in Phase 1, and found some useful resources in Phase 2. Now in Phase 3, I do a lot of heavy research on my Inquiry Project, Wall Propaganda Messages. 

Background Information (from Phase 1):

The People's Republic of China is unlike any other government that China had ever seen in its entire history. For it should have been a utopia, where the poor were valued and trusted, the country was self-sufficient, and imperialistic powers were driven away.[1][2] At least, this was what the Maoist government allegedly stood for. Instead, power grew out of the barrel of a gun, as the Maoist Gongchandang only came to power through popular sentiment with the lower class of China. Mao Zedong established the People's Republic of China in 1949, and strove to rebuild a country badly damaged by the simultaneous civil war and Japanese invasion.[3]

Large portions of the population still approved of Chiang Kai-Shek's Nationalist party, now exiled to Taiwan. [10] In response, Mao Zedong built a personality cult around himself to keep autocratic power and stop his enemies. [10] Propaganda for the state heightened, especially after the Socialist Education Movement of 1962, in order to persuade the public to change their opinions and approve of government policies. [4][11] Furthermore, multiple events during the second half of the twentieth century, like the Great Leap Forward, the Sino-Soviet Split and the Cultural Revolution, caused significant unrest, whether by damaging the economy in the former two or encouraging a completely different mindset in the latter. [5][6] The cultural revolution especially helped Mao, as the hundreds of millions of youths and students enthusiastically attacked scapegoats of the revolution and enforced Mao's personality cult. [10][11] In these situations, propaganda like Mao's Little Red Book among other tools effectively quelled the unrest. [7] According to Chinese Posters,

"Large doses of didactic politicized art, whether figurative or literary, were produced... [Mao] was truly convinced that the more moderate leaders were trying to steal his place in history by subverting the nature of the revolution that he had fought for...In the arts, the subjects were to be portrayed realistically, and they were always to be in the centre of the action, flooded with light from the sun or from hidden always seems as if we, the spectators, are looking upward, as if the action is indeed taking place upon a stage. The subjects were represented hyper-realistically, as ageless, larger-than-ife peasants, soldiers, workers and educated youth in dynamic poses. Their strong and healthy bodies functioned as metaphors for the strong healthy productive classes the State wanted to propagate." [4]

In the age of Mass Media, Chinese propaganda easily spread to all corners of the country. State-led propaganda even played a role away from China, as Mao's meetings with American president Nixon enabled China a seat on the United Nations. [11] Xizhou, tucked away in rural Yunnan, used to be a refuge for Chinese intellectuals persecuted by the government, like Lao She and Xu Beihong. [8] Later, after Mao's death and the opening of China's borders, Xizhou with the rest of rural China had a boom in tourism, enhanced by the scenery of Lake Erhai and the nearby pagodas of Chongsheng. [9]

 Information from 3-to-5's:

Information From Local Contacts:

Answers to Previous Questions (from Phase 1): 


1. "Maoism." Britannica School, Encyclopædia Britannica, 30 Aug. 2010. Accessed 14 Apr. 2017.

2. "Ma." Glossary of Terms: Ma. MIA: Encyclopedia of Marxism, n.d. Web. 14 Apr. 2017.

3. "Mao Zedong." Britannica School, Encyclopædia Britannica, 29 Dec. 2015. Accessed 14 Apr. 2017.

4. "The Mao Cult." Chinese Posters. N.p., 16 Dec. 2016. Web. 14 Apr. 2017.

5. "Great Leap Forward." Chinese Posters. N.p., 07 Nov. 2016. Web. 14 Apr. 2017.

6.  "Cultural Revolution Campaigns." Chinese Posters. N.p., 21 Jan. 2017. Web. 14 Apr. 2017.

7. Han, Oliver Lei. "Sources and Early Printing History of Chairman Mao’s “QUOTATIONS”."Bibsocamer. The Bibliographical Society of America, 10 Jan. 2004. Web. 14 Apr. 2017. <>.

8. "Visiting Xizhou Is like Being Trapped in Time." Shanghai Daily,上海日报. N.p., 03 June 2014. Web. 14 Apr. 2017. <

9. "Dali Attractions." Dali Attractions China: Sightseeing Sites in Dali. Travel China Guide, n.d. Web. 14 Apr. 2017. <>.

10. Y___, Catherine. Web. 15 Apr. 2017.

11. C____, Annie. Web 15 Apr. 2017.

Hi! I'm Marco, a longtime student of SAS from Hong Kong. I have two sisters, both in high school and also longtime students of SAS. One of them, Charlotte K, is a Microcampus alumni. I love to read, learn and take risks, all of which I will be doing plentifully in Microcampus. I hope to improve myself during this trip!