Theorising the impacts of digitally mediated social interaction on diasporic identity formation: A case of Chinese diaspora in Australia

Lu, Jiajie (2015) Theorising the impacts of digitally mediated social interaction on diasporic identity formation: A case of Chinese diaspora in Australia. In Australian and New Zealand Communication Association Conference: Rethinking Communication, Space and Identity, 8-10 July 2015, Queenstown, New Zealand.


With the scope of Chinese diaspora in Australia, this paper theorises the impacts of digitally mediated social interaction on diasporic identity formation in the new media landscape. People’s identity is the outcome of their social interactions with other individuals. In the new media landscape, digital media technologies are changing the way in which people communicate with others. On one hand, space and time are unprecedentedly compressed by media technologies so people can maintain more frequent and instant connections with others than before. On the other hand, the digital media technologies have constructed a virtual social space that might withdraw people from their physical social interactions. As we witness today, our social interactions are increasing digitally mediated, in the forms of posts and comments in social network sites, as well as the messages in social apps. As to the diasporic groups, this new media landscape is presenting a challenge to their identity formation. They physically live in the host countries but still keep close social and cultural connections with their homelands. Facilitated by digital media technologies, they are facing two platforms in which they can practice different identity performances: one is the digitally mediated social network; the other is the physical social network. In the case of Chinese diaspora, the situation is more complex due to the language factor and media censorship in Mainland China, which will be articulated in the main text. This paper aims to fill a gap between media studies and diaspora research. Most of existing research on the relationship between diasporic identity and media primarily focuses on the development of ethnic media institutions, and the production and consumption of ethnic media in the pre-digital media context. However, the process of globalisation and digital media technologies are increasing the homogeneity and hybridity of media content worldwide. In this new context, attributing the formation of different identities to the consumption of media content is arguable to some extent. Therefore, the overlapped area of new media studies and diaspora research still has space deserves further investigation.

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ID Code: 89143
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Chinese diaspora, digitally mediated social interaction, ethnic identity, social media
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > COMMUNICATION AND MEDIA STUDIES (200100)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Digital Media Research Centre
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Current > Schools > Journalism, Media & Communication
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 [Please consult the author]
Deposited On: 19 Oct 2015 01:38
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2015 05:49

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