China Media Research - Current Issue

CMR 12(1)

Issue Vol. 12, No. 1 / January 2016



[Special Issue]
The New Challenge to Cross-cultural Adaption and Transformation
in the Contest of Globalization

Guest Section Editor:Zhuojun Joyce Chen
University of Northern Iowa



Introduction: The New Challenge to Cross-cultural Adaptation and Transformation in the Context of Globalization

Author(s): Zhuojun Joyce Chen

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Constructing and Negotiating Identity in “Birth Culture”: An Intercultural Communication Approach

Author(s): Changfu Chang, Zhuojun Joyce Chen, April Chatham-Carpenter

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With the rapid development of globalization, intercountry adoption has become a part of American family’s lives, among which the majority is interracial adoption, especially, from Asian countries such as Korea and China. While interracial adoptees grow up in Caucasian families and identify with American mainstream culture cognitively, affectively, and functionally, their physical appearance differing from their adoptive parents is the decisive sign to remind the large society to treat them as “Others.” This phenomenon has resulted in serious uncertainty and anxiety in the development of those adoptees’ cultural identities. As various studies on international adoption tried to find solutions within the adoptive society, this project takes a further step to explore Chinese adoptees’ identity formation and cross-cultural adaptation experiences by analyzing their communication with two sets of families (adoptive and birth families) in both adoptive and birth countries (the U.S. and China). The themes and patterns emerging from the ethnographic data, which Dr. Chang accumulated in 15 years through producing documentary films collaboratively with Chinese adoptees, and their adoptive and birth families, demonstrate that those adoptees actively construct their identity through direct contact with both cultures, and that while they enthusiastically learn Chinese language and culture, they have developed and kept important American cultural values internalized since they were young. More importantly, the results also show that cross-cultural adaptation and transformation is not a simple integration of both cultures. Instead, it creates a cultural space within which those adoptees constantly negotiate and construct their cultural identities. [Changfu Chang, Zhuojun Joyce Chen, April Chatham-Carpenter. Constructing and Negotiating Identity in “Birth Culture”: An Intercultural Communication Approach. China Media Research 2016; 12(1): 3-13]. 2

Exploring Intercultural Communication Challenges: A Case Study on Chinese-English Interpreting

Author(s): Jennifer Shuying Bourne

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As Chinaembraces globalization, the number of international conferences continues to grow. Professional interpreters are in great demand for facilitating the communication between China and countries with different languages and cultures. This is an exploratory case study focusing on the analysis of conference interpreting from Chinese to English to examine the importance of the transformation process from linguistic interpreters to intercultural mediators, and the factors involved in the transformation process. Based on the theories developed by Hall (1959), Hofstede (1980), and Kim (2001, 2012), this study employs qualitative methods to analyze five recent recordings of China’s top leader speeches during international conferences. The data reveals four major challenges to Chinese-English interpreting. They are: 1) high-context/low-context cultures; 2) power distance; 3) reproducing the value system and the tone of the speaker; and 4) culture-specific words and expressions. This study demonstrates the importance ofcultural factors involved in interpretingand provides information to enhance the training of interpreters.[Jennifer Shuying Bourne. Exploring Intercultural Communication Challenges: A Case Study on Chinese-English Interpreting. China Media Research 2016; 12(1): 14-24]. 3

Ideological Contestation over Parenting Styles: Dr. Spock vs. Amy Chua

Author(s): Xing Lu

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Using the rhetorical/critical approach in intercultural communication, this paper compares parenting practices advocated by Dr. Spock, a prominent American pediatrician, with those of Amy Chua as espoused in her 2011 best-seller Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. The author takes the position that culture is a site of ideological struggle in which meanings of parenting are constructed and contested. Amy Chua’s authoritarian “Chinese way” of parenting exists in direct defiance to the American norm of permissiveness, thus serving to disrupt and subvert the dominant ideology in the U.S. In addition to textual analyses from both Dr. Spock and Amy Chua’s books, this paper highlights competing discourse in online responses to Amy Chua’s book as well. The author concludes that 1) globalization provides alternative discursive space for cultural hybridity, 2) immigrant families still hold enduring cultural values in response to dominant ideology in parenting, and 3) the competing ideologies and practices on parenting provide an opportunity for dialogue to generate empathetic cultural understanding. Ideological contestation in a multicultural society helps expand the repertoire of parenting discourse and practices. [Xing Lu. Ideological Contestation over Parenting Styles: Dr. Spock vs. Amy Chua. China Media Research 2016; 12(1): 25-34]. 4

Cultural Adjustment from the Other Side: Korean Students’ Experiences with their Sojourner-Teachers

Author(s): Elizabeth Root

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Abstract: Traditional research on cultural adjustment focuses on the sojourner’s experience within a foreign country. Sojourners never travel or move into a vacuum, however, and the missing component of such a focus is the experience of those who come into contact with these sojourners. In order to demonstrate the need to expand research on cultural adaptation, results from a case study are presented. The context for the case study is English language education in South Korea. Narratives of experience were collected from 26 South Korean university students based on their interaction with native-English- speaking teachers. Results demonstrate that students experience aspects of cultural adjustment when involved in interactions within the classroom setting. [Elizabeth Root. Cultural Adjustment from the Other Side: Korean Students’ Experiences with their Sojourner-Teachers. China Media Research 2016; 12(1): 35-45]. 5

The Effect of Acculturation on Chinese International Students’ Usage of Facebook and Renren

Author(s): Lanming Chen & Lisa K. Hanasono

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The rise of social networking in today’s global society presents new opportunities for research on computer-mediated communication and Asian cultures. Drawing from the framework of uses and gratifications theory, this study explained how acculturation influenced Chinese international students’ usage of two similar—yet culturally distinct—social networking sites, Facebook and Renren. Chinese international students completed an online survey about their social networking needs and activities (for Facebook, n = 144; for Renren, n = 106). Bootstrapping analyses revealed cultural differences in participants’ social networking preferences and usage. As expected, adaptation to American culture was positively associated with Facebook usage, and maintaining one’s Chinese culture was positively related to Renren usage. Moreover, the effect of participants’ adaptation to American culture on their Facebook usage was mediated by personal identity gratifications of media use. Implications and directions for future research are provided. [Lanming Chen & Lisa K. Hanasono. The Effect of Acculturation on Chinese International Students’ Usage of Facebook and Renren. China Media Research 2016; 12(1): 46-59]. 6

Chinese Media Transition and News Production of Nationalism: The Political, Political Economy, and Cultural Approaches

Author(s): WANG, Yi, CHEW, Matthew Ming-tak

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What factors fuel the construction of popular nationalism through news discourses in China? Why marketization and deregulation of the media sector have not given equal access to represent alternative voices in an increasingly diversified society? This article contributes to tackling these questions through i) reviewing and critiquing the two mainstream current approaches to the two questions, ii) developing a cultural approach to the questions, and iii) adopting a sociological perspective to integrate the three approaches, which in turn will collectively offer a more adequate answer to the questions than existing studies. The two current approaches to these questions are the political and political economy approaches. It will be argued that although they are useful and offer certain insights, their explanations are parochial. The third approach - one that focuses on cultural and ideological factors instead of political or economic ones - will be introduced to demonstrate where the two current approaches fall short. Collection and analysis of primary empirical data will be carried out to flesh out the cultural approach. Lastly, a novel and adequate explanation of strong nationalist tendencies in Chinese news discourses will be constructed through integrating the political, political economy, and cultural approaches. The theoretical significance and utility of this comprehensive sociological framework of news production will be discussed in detail. [WANG, Yi & CHEW, Matthew Ming-tak: Chinese Media Transition and News Production of Nationalism: The Political, Political Economy, and Cultural Approaches. China Media Research 2016; 12(1): 60-70]. 7

Mass Media Implications with U.S. Military Policy in Iraq and Subsequent Cross-Cultural Communication Failures

Author(s): Jim Schnell

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This report addresses mass media dynamics that impact U.S. military policy in the execution of the Iraq war and related cross-cultural communication issues that have evolved during the course of the war. I completed primary levels of Professional Military Education (PME) and this contexthas provided me with ample opportunity to become familiar with military doctrine and, after the start of the Iraq war in 2003, observe howprimary tenets ofestablished militarytheory have been consistently ignored.At times it has almost been as iftheU.S. invasion/liberation of Iraqhas been executed as a case study for future students toreview and learnhow not to address such a challenge.The inabilityto consider, let alone plan for,cross-cultural ramifications has been a central communicationfailure that has proven tremendously problematic.The mass media have been keen to report on these matters which, in turn, has modified public understanding of the matters being reported. I retired at the rank of Colonel from the USAFR in 2007. My final assignments, spanning 17 years, were as a military attaché to China and as an intelligence officer with Special Operations Command/Pacific. I presently serve as a Senior Research Fellow at Air University, Senior Research Analyst at the Army Urban Warfare Center and a Cross-Cultural Consultant for the Army Institute for Creative Technologies. [Jim Schnell, Mass Media Implications with U.S. Military Policy in Iraq and Subsequent Cross-Cultural Communication Failures. China Media Research 2016; 12(1): 71-78]. 8

Will the Spiral of Silence Spin on Social Networking Sites? An Experiment on Opinion Climate, Fear of Isolation and Outspokenness

Author(s): Yang Xiaodong, Li Li

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An experiment was conducted to examine the relationships between opinion climate, fear of isolation and outspokenness in the context of a discussion of a controversial social issue on a social networking site (SNS). Participants were asked to indicate their willingness to express opinionson the issue after being exposed to one of two treatment conditions: dominant opinion climate and non-dominant opinion climate. Opinion climate was found to significantly influence individuals’ willingness to speak out. Participants in the non-dominant opinion climate condition reported greater outspokenness than participants in the dominant opinion climate condition. The main effect of fear of isolation, and the interaction effect of the fear of isolation and opinion climate were non-significant. Findings suggest that the spiral of silence may have a unique mechanism in discussions on SNS platforms. [Yang Xiaodong, Li Li, Will the Spiral of Silence Spin on Social Networking Sites? An Experiment on Opinion Climate, Fear of Isolation and Outspokenness. China Media Research 2016; 12(1):79-87]. 9

Comparing the Construction of Muslim and Non-Muslims in National Press: A Discourse Analysis of English Leading Newspapers

Author(s): Kalwar, Munwar Ali

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The main purpose of this research was to examine the role of print media with regard to the representation of two communities. It determines whether Pakistani press treats differently, and to find out whether or not Pakistani media makes Non-Muslims responsible for not creating an environment of co-existence. How Muslim and Non-Muslims are linguistically represented in newspapers? Are there any linguistic traces in the text that highlight the policy of exclusion? Discourse Analysis is the method of study. Word of the newspaper is the unit of analysis. Two leading English country wide circulated national dailies, The Dawn, The News were selected from October 1, 2014 to March 30, 2015 as a sample of the proposed study. There was a random sampling. The researcher focused and analyzed only those news items that were regarding the Co-existence and relations of Muslims and Non-Muslims. Rationale behind the selection of this duration is the suicide attack on the Army School Public School Peshawar. The research findings indicated that daily Dawn portrayed the Non-Muslims as the real and son of soil people. It attached the relatively positive meanings to Non-Muslims. In case of deterioration of situation, it put all the responsibility on the shoulder of Muslim and Non-Muslim equally. During the research it was founded that The News has the Right Wing behavior. It declares Pakistan as the only place for the Muslims and at various stages; it condemns the Non-Muslim and made responsible the Non-Muslims for deteriorated wrong situations. It is concluded that Government should review its press policy. Non-seriousness of press leads dire consequences and current policy drag the country to the Sudan Modal of Darfur. [Kalwar, Munwar Ali, Comparing the Construction of Muslim and Non-Muslims in National Press: A Discourse Analysis of English Leading Newspapers. China Media Research 2016; 12(1): 88-94]. 10

Assessing Schwartz’s Refined Value Theory in the Chinese Context

Author(s): Jiajun Li

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Schwartz’s individual-level cross-cultural values theory and its recent refined version havebeen widely citedin cross-cultural research literature. Yet up to now, the theorywas only examinedoutside of the Confucian-influencedcultural context. There is noempirical study found having testedthe theory in a Confucian context like Chinesemainland. The present studyaimed to examine Schwartz’s revised value theory with data from a Chinese sample. Weak confirmatory MDS and Confirmatory factor analysis of 235responses to the Chinese version PVQ-R were conducted. Results generally support Schwartz’s refined theory, but variations are present in MDS projection, especiallyin the social focus values.This calls for further improvement in terms of social focus values in the theory by drawing onfindings from emic studies. [Jiajun Li, Assessing Schwartz’s Refined Value Theory in the Chinese Context,China Media Research 2016; 12(1): 95-107]. 11

Chinese Journalistic Expertise of Weak Media: Stereotype of Thailand as an Example

Author(s): Xiyan Tang

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This article refers to Norman Fairclough’s discourse analysis theory to analyze the coverage of Thailand in the Chinese mass media. After analysis, the findings cover five main aspects: (1) Information about Thailand is mainly in the weak ( non-official or not mainstream) media; (2) Except for some official documents and diplomatic information, almost all the exposure about Thailand is limited or related to travel columns; (3) Ladyboy and Buddhism are the most important key words related to Thailand; (4) While Buddhism is only a void concept lacking sufficient interpretation or deep exploration, there is abundant content about ladyboys in Thailand; (5) The focus around the ladyboy topic is flesh. Considering the great tension between popular desire for flesh topic and the dominant ideology, and the two camps in China’s media system after 1978, the author argues that it is actually a discursive tactic employed by the weak media which on one hand, has to obey the dominant ideology and its related rules, while still hoping to attract enough readers on the other. This subtle tactic requires the journalists to skillfully balance the two side pressures, one is from the dominant ideology, the other is from the popular desire of readers. The capacity to negotiate between the two sides actually requires the journalists to have a tacit knowledge which can only be obtained through professional working experience. Therefore the author provides insight into Chinese journalistic expertise of weak media, and offers a tripolar interactional journalistic expertise model of weak media in China. [Xiyan Tang. Chinese Journalistic Expertise of Weak Media: Stereotype of Thailand as an Example. China Media Research 2016; 12(1): 108-120]. 12


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