China Media Research - Vol 8 No 4

  Issue Vol. 8, No. 4 / October 2012

Special Issue: Intercultural New Media Research
Editor: Robert Shuter
Associate Editor: John Baldwin
Research and Pedagogy in Intercultural New Media Studies
Author(s): Robert Shuter
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New media are ubiquitous, changing the landscape of intercultural communication. Intercultural new media studies (INMS), first introduced and conceptualized by Robert Shuter in 2012 in his article in the Journal of Intercultural Communication Research, is an exciting new field of study which explores intercultural and international communication in a digital age. It promises to contemporize existing intercultural communication theories by exploring their relevance and salience in a mediated world. INMS also offers the prospect of developing 21st century theories of intercultural communication that include new media platforms. Finally, by exploring the relationship between culture and new media, intercultural new media studies details how culture affects the social uses of new media, and how new media affects culture. This article, and the nine studies in this special issue, are an important step in further developing intercultural new media studies and realizing its’ promise. [China Media Research. 2012; 8(4): 1-5]
Multiple 'Faces' of Indian Identity: A Comparative Critical Analysis of Identity Management on Facebook by Asian Indians Living in India and the US
Author(s): Sudeshna Roy
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The present study provides a comparative critical discourse analysis of cultural identity management between the Asian Indian Facebook users based in India and the US. The study attempts to shed light on the role of social media in the construction and presentation of self identity of two groups of people hailing from the same nation/state but residing in different cultural settings. The study examines the intercultural complexity posed by the cultural influences/stimuli specific to the local settings of the individuals to assess the role of mediated, networked nature of Facebook in facilitating/impeding cultural identity management of the two groups. The findings reveal the potential for social networks to enable individuals to exert greater control of the ways in which their identities are constructed, negotiated and interpreted in the world of Facebook amidst the underlying cultural and ideological tensions provided by the two different cultural settings of India and the US. [China Media Research. 2012; 8(4): 6-14]
Linsanity: The Construction of (Asian) Identity in an Online New York Knicks Basketball Forum
Author(s): Anastacia Kurylo
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For one month, point guard Jeremy Lin reached celebrity status in the National Basketball Association (NBA) in the United States. Considering that Lin was overlooked for the majority of his young career and that he is Asian-American, a minority in American professional basketball, his rise to fame was a surprise for many New York Knicks fans. Yet, these fans were, at least in part, responsible for creating the phenomenon that was known most commonly as Linsanity. Therefore, Linsanity provides a unique opportunity to study identity construction. Taking a social construction approach, this study answers the following questions: What identity was constructed for Jeremy Lin during Linsanity? What role do stereotypical representations of Asians play in this construction? What are the implications of Lin’s identity construction for understanding identity? What role do social media play in the construction of identity? [China Media Research. 2012; 8(4): 15-28]
Cultures of Circulation: Utilizing Co-Cultures and Counterpublics in Intercultural New Media Research
Author(s): Melanie Loehwing, Jeff Motter
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This essay examines the previously unexplored intersections between co-cultural and counterpublic communication research as a potentially fruitful hybrid approach for intercultural new media research. Delineating the differences and similarities between the two theoretical orientations, we suggest that productive avenues for future research exist as scholars explore the interrelationships of power, communication, and cultural identity in the context of new media developments. The essay explores the central themes of power and identity, utilizing insights from their treatment in co-cultural and counterpublic research as a foundation for rethinking mediated intercultural practices. [China Media Research. 2012; 8(4): 29-38]
Defining the Nation: Creating 'China'on a Bridge-Blogging Website
Author(s): David Kurt Herold
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This article provides a discussion of the website chinaSMACK ( as an example of an attempt to create an online, cross-cultural community to further the mutual understanding between Chinese and non-Chinese. The site has become one of the most visited English-language websites about China, and attracts many regular visitors who engage in spirited debates about the posts, as well as about China in general. It is argued that the site has achieved the opposite of what its’ founders intended. Instead of building a bridge between Chinese and non-Chinese, the site is emphasizing differences, and 'defining' Chinese-ness as an expression of the shared imagination of its users. In the context of online communities in general, this raises the question whether cross-cultural online groups are possible at all, given the need of communities to define themselves against a posited group of others or outsiders. [China Media Research. 2012; 8(4): 39-49]
Framing 3/11 Online: A Comparative Analysis of the News Coverage of the 2012 Japan Disaster by and
Author(s): Sumana Chattopadhyay
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In the spring of 2011, Japan was struck by a massive earthquake and tsunami that brought in its wake devastation and a severe threat of a nuclear crisis. The threat of this crisis took the world by storm because it had implications not only for the people of Japan but for other parts of the world. This paper analyzes how an US-based online news source, and a Japan-based online news source,, framed the 3/11 disaster. This comparative analysis of how online news sources from two parts of the world covered the crisis offers a unique understanding of how culture and medium might impact reporting of an environmental crisis that happened locally but had global implications. An examination of loss, threat, cause, responsibility and solution frames of the and coverage documented that while both outlets were similar in how they stressed the responsibility and solution frames, talked significantly more about the threat frame compared to Similarly, talked significantly more about the cause and loss frames than Through its findings, this paper offers insights into cross-cultural crises framing by online sources and expands the literature on media framing of environmental crises. [China Media Research. 2012; 8(4): 50-61]
Uncovering the Use of Facebook During An Exchange Program
Author(s): Jason Wen Yau Lee, Beaumie Kim, Tuck Leong Lee, Mi Song Kim
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The use of Facebook is converging with the functions of e-mails and instant messaging. In the past, participants on intercultural exchange programs were temporarily cut off from familiar social surroundings. However the Internet has enabled exchange students to be in constant contact with their friends and families back home, and this is likely to impact their adjustment processes in their host countries. The purpose of this study is to understand the implications of using social networking sites, specifically Facebook, for exchange students’ adjustment processes. Our study approaches this issue by exploring how students used Facebook as a tool for coping with stress and maintaining their cultural identities during their time abroad. [China Media Research. 2012; 8(4): 62-76]
Cultural Differences in the Use of Web 1.0 and 2.0: A Comparative Analysis of Chinese and American Youth
Author(s): Lu Wei, Lars Willnat, Linwei Shao
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This study examines the potential effects of individualism/collectivism on the use typical Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 between Chinese and American students between Chinese and American students. Results show American students scored higher on horizontal individualism and collectivism, but lower on vertical thanon horizontal individualism and collectivism, but lower on vertical but lower on vertical than their Chinese counterparts. The cultural dimensions of individualism/collectivism are mostly indicative social media use rather than online news consumption news consumption, and these cultural factors make a bigger difference in social media use among Chinese students than American students. It is clear that horizontal and vertical individualism/collectivism operate differently at the than American students. It is clear that horizontal and vertical individualism/collectivism operate differently at individual level in these cultures.[China Media Research. 2012; 8(4): 77-89 ]
Mobile Communication Networks in Japan and America
Author(s): Jeffrey Boase, Tetsuro Kobayashi,
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Scholars have argued that interpersonal networks are more dominated by kin and work ties in Japan than in America. This paper seeks to examine the extent to which these differences manifest in the voice calling patterns of smartphone users in these two countries. We draw on data collected from a smartphone application that we designed to anonymously collect mobile log and pop-up survey data. The application was used to collect data from 226 adults in living in Japan and 195 adults living in America. Using descriptive and multivariate statistics we compare the voice call interaction patterns of respondents in these two countries. We conclude by discussing the extent to which the concept of interpersonal collectivism can be applied to understand different patterns of mobile communication in Japan and America. [China Media Research. 2012; 8(4): 90-98]
New Technologies, New Cultural Traditions: The Impact of Facebook on Chinese Nongovernmental Organizations
Author(s): Kevin D. Lo, Richard D. Waters,
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This study describes Chinese young people’s mobile phone use behaviors, intrinsic gratifications, and intentions to upgrade their mobile handsets and explores the relationships among these variables. The results show that they use mobile phones mostly for text messaging and voice calling and mainly seek for the accessibility and convenience gratification. Young people’s intentions to upgrade to a newer model handset are positively related to the entertainment and relaxation gratification and the time lengths of respondents’ ownership of their current mobile phones. The study suggests that the mobile handset upgrade agenda is mainly set by mobile users, not by a featurism-oriented market. [China Media Research. 2012; 8(3): 92-101]
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