Chinese Media Transition and News Production of Nationalism: The Political, Political Economy, and Cultural Approaches

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What factors fuel the construction of popular nationalism through news discourses in China? Why marketization and deregulation of the media sector have not given equal access to represent alternative voices in an increasingly diversified society? This article contributes to tackling these questions through i) reviewing and critiquing the two mainstream current approaches to the two questions, ii) developing a cultural approach to the questions, and iii) adopting a sociological perspective to integrate the three approaches, which in turn will collectively offer a more adequate answer to the questions than existing studies. The two current approaches to these questions are the political and political economy approaches. It will be argued that although they are useful and offer certain insights, their explanations are parochial. The third approach - one that focuses on cultural and ideological factors instead of political or economic ones - will be introduced to demonstrate where the two current approaches fall short. Collection and analysis of primary empirical data will be carried out to flesh out the cultural approach. Lastly, a novel and adequate explanation of strong nationalist tendencies in Chinese news discourses will be constructed through integrating the political, political economy, and cultural approaches. The theoretical significance and utility of this comprehensive sociological framework of news production will be discussed in detail.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-70
Number of pages11
JournalChina Media Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2016

User-Defined Keywords

  • sociology of news production
  • media sociology
  • media transition
  • nationalism
  • political approach
  • political economy approach
  • cultural approach


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