National Identity in China – Contribution from the Beijing Olympic Games? A Survey among Residents of Beijing

  •  Xiaoping Ying    
  •  Arnulf Kolstad    
  •  Yiyin Yang    


This article is dealing with the consequences of Beijing 2000 Olympic Games for the host city population and focuses primarily on three areas of expectations and impact: (1) On China’s international reputation; (2) On enhancing national pride, social and national identity, and (3) On the impact on the “individual self” and how BOG may give personal benefits. To separate the consequences in this way, between the impact on “international”, “national,” and “personal” matters, is particularly interesting in a collectivistic or interdependent culture such as traditional China. Nearly 1000 residents of Beijing have filled in a questionnaire or been interviewed. The sampling technique was a combination of quota and random sampling. The results showed that the international influence is expected to be significantly greater than the national governmental influence, and greater than the influence on the common people as a group. Older residents of Beijing focused significantly more than the younger residents on the international and national consequences, whereas the younger generation focused more on individual consequences and personal benefits. The great majority of the respondents expect the Beijing Olympics to enhance China’s reputation internationally and improve international relations. The support and expectations from the Chinese people for utilizing the Beijing Olympics as an instrument to reach such goals and to promote international cooperation are stronger than in other host cities and countries.

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