Franchise nations : the future of nations?

Leong, Susan (2009) Franchise nations : the future of nations? Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies, 23(6), pp. 855-870.

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In this paper, I extend the notion of franchise nations, borrowed from Neal Stephenson’s cyberpunk novel Snow Crash (1993), in order to employ it as a device for thinking about the future of the nation. I argue the concept to be particularly well suited for such contemplation because of its sound grounding in the historical intermesh of economic, political and cultural motivations intrinsic to the concept as well as lived experience of the nation. I illustrate this very briefly by casting (mainland) China as the master franchisor and the overseas Chinese as franchisees. Specifically, I discuss the media events concerning China that took place during 2008, such as the protests and counter-protests that occurred at various legs of the Olympic Torch Relay, the Sichuan earthquake of 12 May and the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics on 8 August, and reactions to these happenings from overseas Chinese located variously in Australia, Canada and the United States. I argue that employing the notion of franchise nations lays bare the commercial and political instrumentalism behind the promotion and courtship of diasporas by home nations but, crucially, also aids in the understanding of the reciprocal processes by which franchisees are fashioned out of these communities. Finally, I suggest that, aside from China, franchise nations may also be a useful approach for thinking about how nations like India and Singapore are expanded, exported and explained into the future.

Impact and interest:

4 citations in Scopus
3 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 34471
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Franchise nation, China, nation, new media, migrant populations, diaspora, overseas Chinese, transnational media, YouTube, franchising, Singapore
DOI: 10.1080/10304310903294739
ISSN: 1030-4312
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > COMMUNICATION AND MEDIA STUDIES (200100) > Communication Technology and Digital Media Studies (200102)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > CULTURAL STUDIES (200200) > Migrant Cultural Studies (200208)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Past > Schools > Journalism, Media & Communication
Deposited On: 15 Sep 2010 00:12
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 14:11

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