School of Culture and Communication - Research Publications

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    Books Versus Screens: A Study of Australian Children’s Media Use During the COVID Pandemic
    Nolan, S ; Day, K ; Shin, W ; Wang, WY (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2022-01-01)
    Abstract As children’s use of screens increased during the COVID pandemic, their reading of traditional books was affected, a national survey of Australian parents shows. The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Melbourne to compare young people’s use of screens and books in the pandemic. Their online survey of 513 primary caregivers of children aged seven to thirteen around Australia showed that tablet use flourished during the pandemic and that COVID lockdowns influenced book buying and library borrowing in consequential ways for publishing and literature. Many parents believed their children’s use of screens had come at the expense of book reading.
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    COVID-19 Contact Tracing and the Operationalisation of Somatechnics
    Yang Wang, W (Edinburgh University Press, 2022-08)
    This article draws on the paradigm of media operationalism to understand the somatechnical construction of bodies during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the concept of somatechnics, one’s experience with the social world is articulated through the available technologies and techniques required to and developed from using these technologies ( Sullivan and Murray 2016 ). By drawing on the case of the Service Victoria app, the digital COVID-19 contact tracing system launched by the Victoria State government in Australia, I focus on the transformative meaning of technologies and somatechnics and how subjectivity is being redefined through the lens of technological utilisation. I suggest that all human-related forms of relations (human-to-human and human-to-machine) have become secondary and give way to the synchronic data-to-data relation of the app. In the regime of operational media, the body is not just a historical and cultural construction but a techno-transactional object that supports the optimisation of automated-decision making. The recent operational-turn in media studies provides a useful pathway to rethink the changing meaning of body and the human/technologies entanglement.
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    Governing via platform during crisis: People's Daily WeChat Subscription Account (SA) and the discursive production of COVID-19
    Chen, MB ; Wang, WY (Taylor && Francis, 2022-05-05)
    In early 2020, China witnessed the first case of COVID-19. The nation strived to manage the situation through stringent measures with the help of digital technologies including platforms. This article investigates the discursive production of COVID-19 on People’s Daily Subscription Account (SA, dingyue hao), a state-affiliated media channel on the WeChat platform. Through a mixed approach using the walkthrough method and Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA), this article uncovers the power dynamics existing within WeChat and how such dynamics shape the mode of discursive production during the health crisis. Findings reveal the role of People’s Daily in commanding mainstream discursive production in support of the Chinese Communist Party’s continuous quest to legitimise its use of platform media to guide its political subjects and supervise everyday practices of social life. This article can potentially contribute to consolidating understandings of the role of platform media in shaping political governance in contemporary China.
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    How can we stop fake election news spreading in migrant communities?
    Wang, WY ( 2022-05-02)
    Tackling fake news in CALD communities requires partnerships between governments, community groups and media organisations. There should be a particular focus on digital literacy of community leaders. And more resources should be devoted to improve journalists’ cultural competence in communicating with CALD Australians.
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    The relationship between self-esteem and mental disability in patients with schizophrenia: the mediating role of resilience and the moderating role of gender
    Sun, Y ; Wang, M ; Yu, H ; Su, H ; Zhou, Y (ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD, 2022-09-15)
    Noting the infrastructural turn in platform studies, the article conceives China's health code system, Jian Kang Ma (JKM), deployed to manage the COVID-19 crisis as a new social infrastructure that manifests the symbolic and material power of the Party State. Using the platform walkthrough method and documentary inquiry, we unpack the structures of platform governance and identify actors of the power to appreciate the socio-political dynamics of platform algorithms. JKM's structural power is not monolithic in the name of the Party State but supports a process of structuration that operates across multiple actors, administrative bodies and, governing layers. JKM has centralised data systems through the building of a nationwide algorithmic standard of COVID-19 governance. JKM typified the political dynamics of deterritorialisation, a reference to the state's governing mindset of eradicating local variants of policy implementation and governing autonomy in China. The removal of local power in pandemic administration has led to the production of a unified national subject. Such a comprehensive approach begs for greater nuance and sophisticated knowledge about those indigenous logics that platforms and algorithms operate and are embedded in, thus contributing to de-westernising platform studies.
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    What social media platforms can and should do to build young Asian Australians’ resilience against online racism
    Wang, WY ; Song, J ; Shin, W (Asia Institute, University of Melbourne, 2021-11-29)
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    Looking after the elderly, looking after the nation: Red (Xiao Hongshu) and China’s biopolitical governance of ageing
    Wang, WY (Informa UK Limited, 2021-09-03)
    This article examines the cultural production of ageing in China. Specifically, it studies the representation and cultural construction of ageing on Red (xiao hongshu), a popular e-commerce orientated social media application (app). By noting the local in-app and techno-political dynamics the ageing discourse operates in, this article argues that the representation of ageing on Red reflects Chinese platform’s dual ambitions of pursuing market success and securing political support from the party-state. Drawing on data collected from a mixed-method approach of platform and document analysis, it finds that Red’s representation of ageing is located within the state’s official discourse that shifts the caring responsibility and duty to younger family members. By governing the ageing body, the Chinese government is also governing the general population. This article advances knowledge of digital media use in producing cultural discourses around their role in shaping biopolitical governance in China.
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    Communicating COVID-19 to our older culturally diverse Australians
    Wang, WY ; Zhao, XA ( 2021)
    COVID-19 lockdowns forced us online, but that’s been a mixed experience for older Chinese Australians – especially when it comes to getting accurate vaccine information
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    Dining 'on and off': Good, wellbeing and WeChat use among older Chinese migrants in Australia
    Wang, WY ; Yang, YJ (Association of Internet Researchers, 2020)
    This study examines how WeChat, one of the most popular Chinese messenger applications installed on smartphone, facilitates the formation of an older Chinese diasporic space that is centered around the self-nurturing diet (yinshi yangsheng) cultural discourse in Australia. Media has traditionally played a crucial role in disseminating yangsheng-related information and knowledge in China (Sun 2016). However, currently literature in older Chinese people’s media consumption mainly focuses on experience and processes within China few have paid attention to surging number of older Chinese who are ageing in a transnational context. Through analysing data collected from eight focused group (12 people each) conducted at a Chinese restaurant in Brisbane, Australia, and examining OCM participants’ WeChat use,it is found that WeChat not only facilitates the formation of an older Chinese social space in Australia but the platform has acted as a self- and mutual-reliance mechanism for OCMs to negotiate and make sense of their biological change of ageing and biographic change of transnational migration.
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    Buying on Weixin/WeChat: Proposing a sociomaterial approach of platform studies
    Peng, W ; Wang, WY (SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD, 2020-11-04)
    This article examines the social-commercial activity of microcommerce ( wei shang), which has become popular on Weixin (WeChat), one of the most popular messenger applications/social app installed on smartphones in China. By drawing on the notion of platform affordances and data collected from mixed methods centered on the analysis of primary and secondary data, we contend that microcommerce embodies Weixin’s structural (political economy) and cultural (social lives and norms) qualities in China. While microcommerce might have emerged from Weixin’s ecosystem, which is defined by corporate interest and state’s regulatory power, the practice of microcommerce is embedded within the traditional Chinese notion of shuren guanxi (familiar, non-stranger social relational) networks. This article puts forward a sociomaterial approach as a possible conceptual complement to the existing political economy approach of platform studies to call for greater attention to the intersection and interaction between the structural arrangements and social conditions of platform media.