Studying in a Cosmopolitan City: How Far Can Media Help?

By Shan-Shan Li.

Published by The Diversity Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper is based on empirical research into media and cultural experiences of Chinese international students (Beijingese and Shanghaiese) who study in Australia (Sydney). Chinese students’ Internet usages and television consumption are the foci of the study, given that these are the two main forms of media consumption (except for phone usage) for this group. Living and studying in the cosmopolitan city of Sydney, Chinese international students encounter a variety of cultures. The Internet and Australian television provide them with access to diverse cultures and facilitate their understanding of these cultures. Media play a positive role in helping them integrate into the host society, as well as be virtually connected with home. They show great cultural flexibility in consuming different media contents, and a good understanding of Western cultures. However, due to some limitations, such as their poor media access, media’s representational style, Chinese students’ cultural influences due to a powerful global media industry, as well as their real life experiences, the media world they encounter involves less cultural diversity. As a consequence, these students tend to form peer Chinese sub-groups, and have difficulty in integrating into the cosmopolitan/global life.

Keywords: Cultural Diversity, Chinese International Students, Cosmopolitan, The Internet, Television

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp.111-124. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.286MB).

Shan-Shan Li

PhD Student, Centre for Culture Research, School of Communication Arts, University of Western Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Shan-Shan Li is a PhD student at Centre for Cultural Research, University of Western Sydney. Her current research interests are international students’ study and cultural experiences, and media uses in Australia. Her previous research interests were media audience theories and soap operas. She has been awarded Master of Professional Communication (University of Western Sydney, Australia), MA in Television Studies (University of Bristol, UK) (Thesis: ‘‘Neighbours’ and the Young People’), BA in English (Beijing University of Chemical Technology, China) (Thesis: ‘6 Sigma - from Company Management to Mass Media’). She has recently presented a papers titled ‘Border-Crossing and Media Consumption - Theoretical and Methodologyical Explortary’ at Internatioanl Association of Media and Communication (IAMCR) in Sweden, in July 2008, and a paper titled ‘Media Consumption and Cultural Integration: Chinese International Students in Sydney’ at SCMP HDR and Honours Conference, Division of Society, Culture, Media and Philosophy, Macquarie University in Sydney in October 2008. She also has trainings and experiences in film productions and has been awarded Deploma of Screen (Sydney Film School, Australia) (Thesis Film: ‘Je Pase Donc je Suis’).


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