China Media Research - Current Issue

CMR 12(3)

Issue Vol. 12, No. 3 / July 2016


On the Common Sense of Communication and the Communication of Common Sense

Author(s): Hamid Mowlana

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This article sheds light on the works of Thomas Reid (1710-1796), a Scottish philosopher and the founder of the School of Common Sense, and proposes a common sense approach to communication. By common sense, Reid meant a power of the human mind that judges what beliefs are true and the body of common beliefs commonly accepted as true. The article therefore addresses two challenging aspects of our communication inquiry, namely, the common sense of communication and the communication of common sense. If we apply the conceptual framework of Reid’s philosophy of common sense to the realm of communication, we may be able to liberate ourselves from the deterministic world of communication technologies that have diverted much of our attention from the mainstream of human interaction. The struggle in the 21st century will be not on economic growth and technological progress but on social distribution and the restructuring of the public authorities. Hence, it is imperative for us to use our common sense to confront the will to transgress and build on a new meaning of community. The present article points out that, despite such an imperative, the notion of common sense is often missing in our disciplinary discourse on communication and society. [Hamid Mowlana. On the Common Sense of Communication and the Communication of Common Sense. China Media Research 2016; 12(3): 1-6]. 1

A Rhetorical Analysis of Chinese WeChat Messages among Midlife Adults

Author(s): Mei Zhang

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The Internet has developed rapidly in China in the past decade. Despite WeChat’s immense popularity and media coverage, few scholars have studied the new social medium’s communicative functions among midlife adults. This paper examines the ways in which WeChat provides new means of communication, bringing Chinese in China and abroad together in an unprecedented way. Specifically, the paper analyzes the online discussions in four alumni groups and posts by 27 group members. The research finds four recurring themes: promoting status, sharing memories, forwarding information, and organizing activities. Such a study calls for conceptualizations of Chinese social media use and reveals the declining efficacy of official rhetoric in China’s new era of mobile technologies. [Mei Zhang. A Rhetorical Analysis of Chinese WeChat Messages among Midlife Adults. China Media Research 2016; 12(3):7-16]. 2

When the Honeymoon is Over: A US American’s Adaptation to Life in China

Author(s): Priscilla L. Young

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“I’m my own experiment,” I laughingly tell people about my life in China. In this auto-ethnographic paper I report on my first 2 1/2 years of adaptation in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province where I work as a lecturer and ad hoc intercultural advisor for international students at an internationalized Chinese university graduate school. Juxtaposing my feelings as the one living the experience and my thoughts as the one observing myself, I will share the joy and despair of starting a new life in a culture completely different from my own. Experiences and insights are discussed in concert with the literature on intercultural communication, adaptation, and competence. [Priscilla L. Young. When the Honeymoon is Over: A US American’s Adaptation to Life in China. China Media Research 2016; 12(3): 17-26]. 3

Lin Yutang and Cross-cultural Transmission of Culture as Social Critique

Author(s): Timothy Huson

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With China's move to center stage, Chinese culture offers a potential for cross-cultural critique of the general moral and spiritual malaise of the West: value relativism, power-based justice, and identity politics based on self-interest. This was already envisioned in the 1930s, as Lin Yutang pursued a social and cultural critique of the modern world by appealing to and transmitting - as a moral education reminiscent of the Greek concept of paideia - traditional Chinese spiritual culture: education as inner enlightenment to the universal values of humanity and justice and the highest cultural achievement of a sense of detachment from life's illusions, with the resulting tolerance, understanding and compassion towards others, towards oneself, and towards nature. In both form and content, Lin's transmission is akin to Martin Heidegger's critique of the modern West in appeal to classical Greece, both drawing on an inner thought and wary of fashionable intellectual trends. [Timothy Huson. Lin Yutang and Cross-cultural Transmission of Culture as Social Critique. China Media Research 2016; 12(3): 27-43]. 4

Articulation, Poiesis, Occupy Wall Street, and Human Freedom

Author(s): Peter Zhang

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This essay uses Stuart Hall’s 1985 interview with Lawrence Grossberg as the starting point to explore the rich senses of “articulation.” It traces out a theoretical trajectory that links together such seminal thinkers as Kenneth Burke, Michel de Certeau, Mikhail Bakhtin, Paul Virilio, Michel Foucault, and Gilles Deleuze. The aim is to illuminate the poietic nature of “articulation.” A thoroughgoing understanding of articulation, as the essay points out, does not stop at the discursive level. It has a social dimension as well. To be more precise, it bridges the discursive and the social. As such, the essay promotes the fusion of discursive poiesis, social poiesis, and autopoiesis. A secondary motive is to poeticize theory building, construct a theoretical “smooth space,” and generate the sensation of freedom. The essay is performative in nature, in the sense that the style embodies and enacts the ethos. In making the case, the essay uses Occupy Wall Street as a “failed” example of social poiesis, affirmatively critiques the movement through the lenses of Deleuzean ethics and Bourbon Street jazz, and assesses the value of the movement as “failed” social poiesis in a coda. Overall, the essay offers a strong defense of articulation by equating it with Deleuzean rhizomatics and promoting it as the praxis of freedom. The essay also cautions against bad encounters, which make for pseudo-articulations. [Peter Zhang. Articulation, Poiesis, Occupy Wall Street, and Human Freedom. China Media Research 2016; 12(3): 44-54]. 5

Diffusion of Competing Media Frames in Social Movement: A Case of “Anti-Retirement Package Bill Event” in Macau

Author(s): Xu Min

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Political communication area evolves dramatically as the new media empowers the mass to be involved in and has a great influence on politics. The political actors’ positions in the network opinion event can become pervasive in the public discourse through influencing media frame by manipulations of symbols. As the media functions as the information channel, the competing media frames flow through the media platform. Based on the data collected from “The Wise” and Facebook, the study took “The Anti-Retirement Package Bill Event” in Macau as the case. Taking time effect into consideration and examining online media and offline media channels, the research measured media news from three different media systems with the frame factors constructed by the PCA (Principal Component Analysis) technology. The result showed that the media frames changed across different stages in the network opinion event. Pro-government media balanced their position between the image of maintaining justice and the “mouthpiece” of the government. The frames of the social movement organization media always kept opposite position, but more neutral at the end when the “Anti-bill” side won. The commercial media behaved steadily in the whole process. These three competing media frames were adopted together to reflect and influence “Anti-Retirement Package Bill Event” procedure. Besides, the frame of social movement organization media had a significant correlation with that of their online audience. [Xu Min. Diffusion of Competing Media Frames in Social Movement: A Case of “Anti-Retirement Package Bill Event” in Macau. China Media Research 2016; 12(3):55-73]. 6

World’s impact on the Taiwanese media system

Author(s): Robert Rajczyk

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The Republic of China is a unique subject of scientific research. Taiwan appears as an interesting object of political science and masscommunication research due to its exceptional position in international political affairs. From the politological point of view the whole constitutional system requires analysis because of its impact on the media system. The latter is functioning as a separate entity and is quite unique in the world. There would be acomprehensive analysis of the Taiwanese media system and its impact on global media. The research shall reveal the potential of this media system and its interconnection with the image of Taiwan in the world’s media content. The main aim of the research is to set up the Taiwanese media system’s impact on the global media system and to depict the image of the Republic of China in global media’s content. [Robert Rajczyk. World’s impact on the Taiwanese media system. China Media Research 2016; 12(3):74-80]. 7

When Consumption Becomes All-Consuming in China: The Relationship Between Stickiness and Internet Addiction

Author(s): Constance C. Milbourne, Jeffrey S. Wilkinson

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Global Internet use continues to rise as do efforts to reach and hold onto online consumers. Stickiness is a positive indicator of website effectiveness reflecting time spent on the site. But published reports suggest that there are increasing numbers of people with various types and forms of Internet addiction. Public health experts warn that excessive web use and time spent online can have negative repercussions, but the relationship between consumer marketing stickiness and online addiction is not clear. A convenience sample in China is surveyed on web behaviors, time spent online, and possible Internet addiction. Results indicate a link between relative frequency engaging in online behaviors and Internet addiction. The more sticky the web becomes, the higher the self-report of behaviors associated with Internet addiction. Implications and recommendations for marketers and health experts are presented. [Constance C. Milbourne. When Consumption Becomes All-Consuming in China: The Relationship Between Stickiness and Internet Addiction. China Media Research 2016; 12(3):81- 88]. 8

The Mediated Communities: Testing Media Effects on the Construction of National Identity, National Pride, and Global Identity in China, Brazil, India, South Africa, and the US

Author(s): Qingjiang (Q. J.) Yao, Carrol Haggard

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This study is an empirical test of the theory that media consumption contributes to the construction of national identity, using the Brazil, China, India, South Africa and the US as examples. With data of those nations collected through the fifth wave of the World Values Survey, the study confirms the positive relationship of mass media consumption with national and global identities. It also reveals that national identity does not lessen global identity. Religion’s relationships with the constriction of national identity, national pride, and global identity are complex and discussed. Global identity is positively associated with postmaterialism, which is prevalent among the younger generation. [Qingjiang (Q. J.) Yao & Carrol Haggard. The Mediated Communities: Testing Media Effects on the Construction of National Identity, National Pride, and Global Identity in China, Brazil, India,South Africa, and the US. China Media Research 2016; 12(3):89- 98]. 9

The Impact of Identity Style on Internet Usage Motives of Chinese Netizens

Author(s): Kai Zhang & Guo-Ming Chen

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The rapid development of the Internet in China has influenced every aspect of Chinese netizens’ life. Because computer-mediated communication (CMC), especially the Internet, has become a significant means of interpersonal communication, it is high time to more systematically explore the impact of CMC in Chinese society. This paper attempts to explore the influence of identity style on Internet usage motives of Chinese netizens. Survey results show significant relationships between two dimensions of identity style and some Internet usage motives. Limitations and future directions are also discussed. [Kai Zhang & Guo-Ming Chen. The Impact of Identity Style on Internet Usage Motives of Chinese Netizens. China Media Research 2016; 12(3): 99-106]. 10


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