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Volume 5 No. 4, October 2009





China Media Research, Volume 5 No. 4, October 2009

Mingxin Zhang & Lu Wei
Knowledge, Attitude, and Home Internet Adoption in Rural China: A Case of Hubei

Home Internet adoption in rural societies deserves more attention. Through a survey of 480 rural residents in a typical central China province, this study supports the central role of knowledge in the adoption process. Results show that the low adoption rate of the Internet in rural China is directly caused by people's low levels of knowledge about the Internet. Although attitude is positively caused by knowledge, the former plays a weaker role than the latter in rural residents' adoption of the Internet. This explains why people with minimum Internet knowledge would not adopt the Internet even if they have a relatively positive attitude toward it. In addition, this study has supported the contributing effects of mass media use on the acquisition of Internet knowledge. Implications and limitations of the study are discussed.

Di Wang
Grassroots Netizens Get Control of Public Discourse Right and Change the World--the Contest of Public Discourse Right on Tibet & Olympic Issue

Previous studies on new media's impact on society had produced contradictory theories. Medium theory claimed that technology was a dominant force through which media influenced society and culture. Social Determinism theory argued that it is the users, not technologies themselves that determined the blossom and the impact of new media. Critical schools and Cultural studies added their own elements. However, different from all previous theories that stress on one factor to be the fundamental factor that affected the development of society, this study predicted and found evidence that new technology and users both played an important role in changing society.
Applying both qualitative and quantitative methods -- content analysis of Tibet & Olympic Torch videos on YouTube, a random sample of 585 Macau residents and six intensive interviews, this study explored how the development of YouTube affected people's media utilization habits, and consequently brought about change on people's perception about media. Whether the users actively made use of this new media and used it to change the society was another concern of the study. Findings showed that the new media understudy, YouTube, changed some people's media utilization habits and news interpretation, but not everyone's: to those who held strong opinions on issues, watching YouTube only strengthened their original opinions, while to those who held less strong opinions about certain issues, watching YouTube's videos may change their mind. YouTube did have a significant impact on the structure of society--grassroots users utilized this new tool to win discourse right and thus broke the monopoly of traditional media, which further broke the information monopoly of government.

Bingqi Feng and Han Li
An Analysis of Consumer Generated Media's Application in Multicultural Public Relations Practice

This study examines the validity and effectiveness of consumer generated media(CGM)'s application in multicultural public relations practice, that is, demonstrates the consumer generated media's role for multicultural organizations to manage so-called "mutually beneficial" relationship with multicultural publics. By reviewing literature on multicultural publics, organization-public relationship management, cultural dimensions of public relations and consumer generated media and analyzing a case, this study shows the specific attributes of multicultural public relations communication with multicultural publics and CGM's suitability.

Yanru Chen
Between Three Worlds: The Internet and Chinese Students' Cultural Identities in the Era of Globalization

This study proceeds from the proposition that there are three "worlds"--one "out there", one depicted by the media, and one in our minds. It then analyzes the thematic self-reports from, and interviews with, 44 Chinese graduate students with varied backgrounds of growth. The study finds that contrary to the criticisms of cultural critics, Chinese students depend on the Internet for information and entertainment, but remain doubtful about what they get. Their attitude toward seemingly strange foreign cultural values went through the stages of resistance, reception, and reflection. They had been raised with a love for Chinese culture, and the Internet made them feel "lost" at first, but later they reemerged with a renewed longing for Chinese cultural identity. Overall, they experienced a clash between Chinese and foreign/Western/global cultures, went through mental conflicts, and regained inner peace through convergence of different cultural identities, claiming to be "Chinese in a global village".

Suke Chen
College Male Students' Cultural Value Identity in the New Media World

This is a quantitative study of the new media and cultural value identity issue of Chinese college students. This article explores the role that new media plays in influencing or renewing cultural value identity in the new media world. How do the college students use the new media? What is the status quo of their cultural value identity? How do new media factors correlate with their cultural value identity? The present study used SPSS to process the data collected in China. A descriptive analysis as well as a correlation analysis based on 60 questionnaires is dealt with respectively in the article. The findings show the status quo of Internet use from 8 aspects. Furthermore, the article demonstrates that the college male students form a unique value identity, which mixes core traditional Chinese culture value identity like "Family Security", and some common "modern" value identity, like "Ambitious" and "Freedom". The study demonstrates 19 interesting correlations between new media factors and 36 values, which will probably provide us with some new thoughts on how the new media factors interact with cultural value identity transformation. As a study of cultural value identity in the new media context, this study provides an intercultural communication perspective and related data.

Wei-Ching Wang, Li-Jung Wang, Taofang Huang, and Szu-Chi Huang
Internet Use, Group Identity, and Political Participation among Taiwanese Americans
Using qualitative data collection methods, mainly in-depth interviews, this study investigated the complex, fluid, strategic, and reciprocal relationships between Internet use, group identity, and political participation in a Taiwanese American immigrant context. The research results found that the Internet has surpassed other ways by becoming the first channel the Taiwanese Americans use for gathering and accessing information and cultural materials of Taiwan and has become one of the most important tools to practice their political participation. Moreover, through the cross tabulation analysis, we found that those who use more Taiwanese Internet content showed a higher percentage of identification and cultural preference with Taiwan and were more involved in political participation concerning Taiwanese issues; as to those who use more American web content, they tended to adopt more hybrid or changing identities and had more political participation in American issues. Thus, for those who maintain their Taiwanese identity, the Internet is actually a useful and significant way to sustain their original identity. Moreover, in this research, the influence of the Internet on identification and cultural preference could be generally grouped into three different categories--reinforcing the existing identities, challenging the existing identities, and creating new or hybrid identities. As to how the Internet influences identity construction, the most frequent reasons (in order) include increasing social networking with people in hometowns, changing people's thoughts and feelings about their existing identities, offering material for sources of identity construction, and reinforcing immigrants' identities by strengthening their identifiers of themselves.
We also found that the Internet might realize the possibility for immigrants/the minority to pursue their communication rights by offering them more accesses and channels to communicate (with both the original countries and host societies), to participate in politics, and to choose to be closer to the identity or culture they prefer. This helps immigrants and our society to pursue more "social integration" but not "social assimilation" cultural goals because it supports the existence, pursuit, and encouragement of different cultures, different cultural identities, and different cultural preferences, leading to cultural diversity and democracy in today's world.

Mingsheng Li
Chinese Nationalism in an Unequal Cyber War

This article examines the theory and characteristics of surging Chinese cyber-nationalism which is fuelled by antagonism toward Western media's coverage of the Tibet riots. It is also fuelled by the media's coverage of widespread, anti-China protests staged by pro-Tibet activists and China-bashers during the Olympic torch relay in 2008. It is pointed out that cyber-nationalism had an enormous influence upon the Chinese government and its foreign policy decisions. A huge gulf developed between Chinese netizens and the Western media in their understanding of human rights and Tibet issues. Chinese netizens, who seemed to have lost their confidence in the mainstream Western media which is represented by the CNN and BBC, began to align with the Chinese government in an asymmetric media battle. They used cyber space to express their views, voice their concerns, disseminate information, and mobilize and rally the support of millions of Chinese nationals. This was to fight against the Western media's bias, prejudice, and misrepresentation, to protect and safeguard their national sovereignty, pride and territorial integrity, and to shore up China's position over the Tibet issue.

Ke Guo and Ying Wu
Media Consumption and Global Visions Among Urban Chinese Youth

The paper has surveyed among urban Chinese youth aged from 15-25 in the three cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou in line with focus groups, in an effort to explore their media consumption patterns and how their media consumption in a relatively enclosed media environment like China has helped to shape their global visions.
The paper finds that urban Chinese youth have preferred Internet, the new media, to traditional media (TV and newspaper), but their media channels become diversified when they access different contents. Fun seeking is the prime factor for their media consumption while traditional news is still popular, as a natural extension of their personal needs and social environment.
Besides, location, gender and education are important factors for their media and content preferences. Youth in Beijing and Guangzhou are more active Internet users while Shanghai youth focus more on traditional media; females tend to prefer soft and fun information while males are inclined to hard news and sports; elder youth love hard news while younger youth like soft and entertaining contents.
Although media environment in China is still relatively enclosed, urban Chinese youth have not demonstrated a strong desire to access foreign-language media. This paper has failed to find that media consumption among urban Chinese youth has helped to shape their global visions, but there exists a reverse trend between what Chinese media have portrayed in their global coverage and what country Chinese youth prefer. Finally, the paper finds that personal needs and social environment are two key factors in the process of media consumption among urban Chinese youth.

Rooh-e-Aslam, Shahzad Ali, and Dr.Ghulam Shabir
A Critical Study about the Impact of Internet on its Users in Pakistan

This study is planned to explore whether internet affects our society or not. The general observation about the impact of internet in Pakistan is that most people use to consume their spare time by watching obscene material. It also affects our moral and cultural values. Especially those users who visit Net cafes, are free to use it for any purpose. With the help of survey from 500 internet users of Multan city, it has been concluded that, overall, internet is a mixed blessing as 51.4% (257) of users also agreed. It is also agreed upon that 79.4% of users that internet affects the moral values of Pakistani society, while just 26.6% disagreed. Seventy percent of users said internet effects the social relations of the users and 30% said it does not. The majority of users chat (62.2%) for match making and 53.4% conceal their ASL (age, sex, location) during chat in order to deceive others. It is suggested that to enhance the image of internet as a mass medium, the users should use it for positive activities; technology itself is not bad, it is the usage which makes the impact of anything adverse.

Guo-Ming Chen
On Identity: An Alternative View

"Identity" has become a magic word in the disciplines of social sciences and humanities, in which, due to the impact of globalization, scholars examine the concept from different perspectives, including personal, intergroup, cultural, critical, and postcolonial approaches. Unfortunately, the plethora of research seems to further obscure and enigmatize the meaning and nature of identity, and worse, advocates of the importance of establishing, authenticating, or negotiating one's own identity seems to encourage people to tightly hold their own identity. Like a cocoon, this can weave a stronghold, preventing a person from penetrating into the identity of others. Facing this dilemma on the research of identity, this paper offers a critical overview of this line of study and proposes a different view on the nature of the self and identity from the Asian cultural perspective, specifically from the Taoist view.


Source: China Media Research