China Media Research - Vol. 10, No. 3

Vol.10, No.3
  Issue Vol. 10, No. 3 / July 2014

Global Communication as Cultural Ecology
Author(s): Hamid Mowlana
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Communication as a cornerstone of cultural environment has been central to social and political thought in both Eastern and Western traditions. Implicit and explicit in these commentaries has been the notion of ecological balance in relation to social, economic, and political activities. This article highlights the concept of ecology as a new analytical framework for the study of culture and communication and outlines a theoretical model of global communication as cultural ecology. The article reviews Eastern and Western perspectives on ecology and identifies six interrelated ecological terrains: (1) the ecology of goods and commodities; (2) the ecology of services; (3) the ecology of warfare; (4) the ecology of information; (5) the ecology of habitat; and (6) the ecology of ethics and morality. It is the argument of the present article that our cultural, economic, and political environments cannot be understood completely unless we turn our attention to this unitary phenomenon in terms of culture and communication, and that the future of our culture is intrinsically linked with our attitude toward the communication environment. [China Media Research. 2014; 10(3): 1-6]
Becoming Intercultural: Exposure to Foreign Cultures and Intercultural Competence
Author(s): Shuang Liu
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Many students come to university with experiences of living in or travelling to other countries and interacting with culturally different others in homeland and cyberspace. These experiences have prompted debates on whether intercultural competence still needs to be formally taught given advanced transportation facilities and communication technologies provide increasing opportunities to encounter foreign cultures. The present study examines the relationship between exposure to foreign cultures and intercultural competence of university students. Data were obtained from an online survey, administered to students in an Australian university. Results indicate that the experience of residing in foreign cultures is not necessarily a significant predictor of the perceived level of intercultural competence. People do not become interculturally competent by virtue of exposure to other cultures. Intercultural competence needs to be learned, hence justifying the importance of incorporating intercultural training in university curriculum. [China Media Research. 2014; 10(3): 7-14]
Public Relations in Ghana: Professionalism and Impacts of Globalization
Author(s): Ming-Yi Wu & Kwame Baah-Boakye
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This paper describes professionalism of public relations in Ghana. By using a questionnaire, the researchers surveyed 64 Ghanaian public relations practitioners. The results indicate that the Ghanaian public relations field is moving toward professionalism because practitioners are conducting research for their organizations and clients. The results of this study also reveal the impacts of globalization in the Ghanaian public relations field. Our participants help their international clients overcome cultural and language barriers when entering the Ghanaian market. [China Media Research. 2014; 10(3): 15-23]
An Ethical Challenge—How We Should Talk about Issues Regarding Rural Migrant Women —A Critical Reading on Xinran’s book Miss Chopsticks
Author(s): Zhou Li
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The recent surge of rural migrants has attracted a great deal of attention from scholars both in and outside China. Various disciplines, including economics, political science, sociology, and anthropology have all exhibited a strong interest in this topic. In addition to academic writing, creative literature also focuses on the rural migrants. Encouraged by Xinran’s recent book Miss Chopsticks, this paper criticizes the book’s oversimplification of the experiences of the rural migrant workers and the monolithic way the book provided of understanding rural migrant female workers as docile laborers. In revisiting Miss Chopsticks, after a close and critical reading with the help of other scholars’ discussion on Chinese women’s agency and power, the paper argues that Xinran’s writing of female rural migrant workers created three misunderstandings: 1) Chinese women, in particular rural women, hardly have any agency in terms of actively constructing their own futures, 2) few tensions exist between the economic reform and the understanding of rural migrant workers’ identities, and 3) the only way to understand power is in terms of domination and control. [China Media Research. 2014; 10(3): 24-31]
The Dilemma of Receiving Support from In-laws: A Study of the Discourse of Online Pregnancy and Childbirth Support Groups
Author(s): Zheng An
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Parents-in-law are a major source of support for women to cope with transitions to motherhood in China. However, higher levels of support from in-laws are associated with higher levels of depression. This study explores the dilemma of receiving support from in-laws by examining the discourse of online pregnancy and childbirth support groups. A total of 272 posts were collected by searching two terms “mothers-in-law” and “parents-in-law” from two Chinese online support groups. The findings show that women suffered from unwanted support from controlling in-laws, and frequently received hurtful comments regarding childrearing methods. Women also expressed suffering from uncaring in-laws and gender oppression. The results suggest that receiving social support can be stressful if there is a mismatch between what is needed and what is given. Relational tensions may also reduce the effectiveness of social support. [China Media Research. 2014; 10(3): 32-42]
An Exploratory Study on Culture’s Causal Consequences via Priming: Shanghai College English Majors’ Social Attributions as a Case
Author(s): Liping Weng
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Building on Hong et al.’s (2000) seminal work on bicultural individuals’ cultural frame switching, this study explores culture’s causal consequences on Shanghai college English majors’ social attributions. Ninety-nine three-year diploma (vo-tech) sophomores were randomly assigned to three priming conditions (Chinese, American, and neutral) and completed the exact same attribution task. Significant differences in situational attributions were found between the Chinese and American primed groups. Specifically, the participants gave contrastive responses to the primed culture, i.e., they used more situational attributions when primed with American culture than when primed with Chinese culture, a tendency contrary to the empirically established cultural differences in social attributions between North Americans and East Asians (Morris & Peng, 1994). The results are interpreted from the perspective of cultural knowledge application and cultural identity management. Theoretical and methodological implications for intercultural communication research are discussed. [China Media Research. 2014; 10(3): 43-52]
Media Exposure and Fashion Involvement in China: A Model of Analysis
Author(s): Mona Yanshu Sun & Steve Guo
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This study investigates the relationship between media exposure and fashion involvement in Chinese society with a conceptual model of analysis that incorporates aspects of lifestyle, materialistic value, and peer pressure. Analyses of survey data from a probability sample of 500 randomly selected respondents indicate that fashion involvement is a function of fashion magazine reading and fashion website browsing, lifestyle aspirations, perception of success, and peer influence. [China Media Research. 2014; 10(3): 53-63]
Is Seeing Believing? Comparing Media Credibility of Traditional and Online Media in China
Author(s): Wenjing Xie & Yunze Zhao
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This study aims at evaluating media credibility in contemporary China and exploring what factors influence people’s perceptions of media credibility. A survey was conducted in Beijing (N = 376) and showed that the professional media outlets have evolved into a strong competitor of the traditional party-organ news media and were viewed as more credible than the party mouthpiece. However, in terms of online journalism, the news websites operated by the official news organizations were considered more credible than the news websites operated by the commercial companies. This study also found that political variables such as people’s political concern and political knowledge play a significant role in predicting media credibility. [China Media Research. 2014; 10(3): 64-73]

Investigating Adopter Categories and Determinants Affecting the Adoption of Mobile Television in China
Author(s): Trisha T.C. Lin & Vicki Chihsuan Chiu
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This study investigates youths’ perceived adoption of China Mobile Multimedia Broadcasting (CMMB), the largest mobile TV service (MTVS) in the world, and examines differences among adopter categories (i.e., continuers, potentials, and resistors) in Beijing and Shanghai. The web surveys of 336 young mobile users find the early adopter markets facing challenges of low brand awareness and service dissatisfaction. Showing more interest in conventional TV content, respondents are concerned about CMMB’s signal quality, energy use, and cost. Results reveal adopter categories (adopters and non-adopters, and potentials and resistors) vary in perceived characteristics of CMMB MTVS, including complexity, relative advantage, and perceived popularity. The two pairs are also found to be significantly different in innovativeness. Comparing young adults in the two cities, those in the latter expect more diverse content and better signal quality. A model consisting of 3G multimedia service use, disposable allowance, and perceived popularity is proposed to predict future adoption of mobile TV. [China Media Research. 2014; 10(3): 74-86]
Issues of Privacy and Surveillance in Information Age: In the Web 2.0 Environment and Organizational Setting
Author(s): Ran Ju
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This paper discussed the problem of surveillance and privacy in the Web 2.0 era, specifically focused on the organizational setting. The paper started with a general introduction to the topic of surveillance and privacy with some traditional theories and concepts, and then brought this topic to the detailed setting of organizational life, presenting the conflict of surveillance and privacy happening during the work. At last new problems associated with this topic in the organizational setting under the influence of Web 2.0 were brought up and further discussed. To compensate this theoretical discussion, this paper also showed some related empirical studies as well as some real cases. In the end, future research questions and directions were suggested. [China Media Research. 2014; 10(3): 87-93]
Meditations on Media Ecology
Author(s): Peter Zhang
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This article is an exercise in what Deleuze terms “nomad thought.” It proceeds on the assumption that media ecology McLuhan style is a nomadic mode of exploration. The textual strategy is acoustic resonance rather than visual connection. The article has come to fruition after a long period of meditation. The tacit invitation is for the reader to do the same in this age of fast ideas and conceptual clutter. [China Media Research. 2014; 10(3): 94-104]
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