Asian Celebrity Capital in Digital Media Networks: Scandal, Body Politics and Nationalism

Dorothy W S Lau*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This chapter analyzes Zhang Ziyi's beach scandal as an example of how the Asian female star publicity is scrutinized by the global public in digital media networks. Asia has developed a maturation of a celebrity industry. By contending the scandalous imaginaries of Zhang, the chapter provides insight on how far digital media apparatuses facilitate the private life of stars going public, unpacking the intricacies of morality, body politics and nationalism as well as digital users' engagement in current Asian celebrity culture. As the analysis has unfolded, scandal ushers the moment that the star image is evaluated against the moral and ideological parameters, risking the celebrity capital in dynamic and capricious fashions. In Asia, popular culture celebrities, as a form of soft power, are key agents to generate socio-cultural and political capital and bolster ideological dissemination. The discourse of moral decline is associated with the politics of the female body, legitimizing rather than problematizing the patriarchal ideals in Asian societies.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMedia in Asia
Subtitle of host publicationGlobal, Digital, Gendered and Mobile
EditorsYouna Kim
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781000584332, 9781003130628
ISBN (Print)9780367672850, 9780367653224
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2022

Publication series

NameMedia, Culture and Social Change in Asia

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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