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Media and the Chinese Diaspora: Community, Consumption, and Transnational Imagination

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This article is concerned with the formation of a global diasporic Chinese mediasphere. In the first part, I will delineate the imbricative relationships between community, commerce, and cultural consumption of the Chinese media — what I perceive to be the three conceptual nodes constituting the analytical framework within which meanings of “Chineseness” are constructed and contested. In the second part, I will further argue that a global diasporic Chinese imagination is inherently transnational, and central to the formation of such transnational imaginary is what I refer to as the “transnational mediasphere” which, as I will demonstrate, is a global phenomenon nevertheless inflected with local concerns. I will end with some thoughts on how best to approach this extremely complex and ever-changing phenomenon, tentatively suggesting some points of entry into a place- and context-specific understanding of the production and consumption of the Chinese-language media and the crucial role it plays in the formation of a Chinese transnational imagination.


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