Meanings of divorce: A feminist analysis of the narrative accounts of Chinese divorced women in Hong Kong and Guangzhou, China

    Project: Research project

    Project Details


    The 2014 “Occupy Central” crisis in Hong Kong is being seen as China’s biggest political challenge since June 4, 1989, when the pro-democracy “Beijing Spring” movement was cracked down upon by the government. The “Occupy Central” protests, also known as the “Umbrella Movement,” has led to the arrests of protesters, shutdown of government agencies, class boycotts, and so on. Given the probability of its deep and long-lasting impact, this movement may well become one of the most significant events in Hong Kong’s history. News media, local and global, paid close attention and reported the crisis extensively. In Greater China – owing to its geographic, ethnic, and political proximity – the news media in Hong Kong, Mainland China, and Taiwan have closely monitored the protests and the accompanying crisis. Western media, especially those of U.K. and U.S., have also meticulously covered the progress of the movement.

    The Occupy Central crisis, combined with its backdrop of different political climaxes in the three regions of the Greater China, provides an extraordinary platform for a news framing study, as it involves political aspirations against authoritarianism, something that is valued and sensitized to varying degrees among different media systems. The conflicts between the protesters and the established rulers during the crisis allowed news media to adopt a variety of frames that are congruent with their political and social values.

    Using frames derived from past studies and identified from original data, this study examines how Occupy Central was presented in the news coverage of U.K., U.S., Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Mainland China media, and analyzes the frames exerted on the coverage. Framing analysis is conducted in terms of the overall news perspective, favorability toward the protesters or the government, attribution of responsibility, sourcing pattern, economic consequences, and so on. The frames employed are interpreted and discussed in the context of ideological differences. The reasons for these differences and the theoretical implications are explored.

    While studies comparing how different countries’ media frame and present the same story have been done before, this proposal is unique in that it will assess the phenomenon of news framing by examining how three Chinese-speaking regions, with close geographical and cultural proximity, deal with a political event occurring within their own area, compared to Western coverage on the same matter. The proposed study builds on the PI and Co-I’s substantial and relevant research activity and experience, which will help ensure its successful completion and productive outcome.

    While Hong Kong and its Beijing-based central government continue to struggle to achieve political reform, and the three regions (including Taiwan) strive for unification under the principle of “one country, two systems,” this research has great relevance to the political development of contemporary China. It shall shed light on our understanding of the relationship between media and politics, between global influences and national specificities in the Greater China area, and hopefully serve as a basis for suggesting appropriate policy changes in the long run.
    Effective start/end date1/01/1631/12/18

    UN Sustainable Development Goals

    In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

    • SDG 5 - Gender Equality


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