Department of Media and Communication Center for Communication Research

Political Communication and Culture Cluster

Coordinator: Marko M. Skoric
Members: Tetsuro Kobayashi, Liang Limin, Lin Fen, Lin Wan-Ying, & Chris Fei Shen

Keywords: digital politics, civic engagement, political participation, polarization, social movements, collective action, identity politics, youth engagement, media institutions, journalism

Introduction: We examine the civic, political and cultural implications of media contents, platforms, and uses. The Cluster members focus on a range of topics, including media effects on public opinion, the role of emerging technologies in citizen engagement, election campaigning, sociology of news, and the analyses of political discourse and culture. There are six faculty and thirteen student members of the Cluster, who organize research seminars and guests lectures and engage in collaborative research. In recent years, the Cluster faculty have obtained more than half a dozen external research grants from different governmental organizations and the industry. The faculty are also involved in a number of international research collaborations and have initiated and organized a range of academic workshops and conferences in Asia, Europe and the United States.

Tetsuro Kobayashi

Dr. Tetsuro Kobayashi studies political communication and public opinion in East Asian countries. With the background of social psychology, he employs different types of experimental methodologies as well as conventional surveys.

Selected publications:

Kobayashi, T. (2020). Depolarization through social media use: Evidence from dual identifiers in Hong Kong. New Media & Society. Online First. Doi: 10.1177%2F1461444820910124

Kobayashi, T., Hoshino, T., & Suzuki, T. (2017). Inadvertent learning on a portal site: A longitudinal field experiment. Communication Research. Online First. Doi: 10.1177/0093650217732208 

Kobayashi, T. & Ichifuji, Y. (2015). Tweets that matter: Evidence from a randomized field experiment in Japan. Political Communication, 32(4), 574–593. 

Limin Liang

Limin Liang’s research interests are with the social organization and cultural studies of journalism and new media. Her recent research involves the study of media events and media rituals in the changing global information ecology, particularly contentious court-related social dramas and their implications for symbolic politics and authoritarian deliberation. She is also interested in China’s expanding international broadcasting and implications for journalism practices and public diplomacy.

Selected publications:

Liang, L. (Forthcoming). Between Emotion, Politics and Law: Narrative Transformation and Authoritarian Deliberation in a Land-Dispute-Triggered Social Drama in China. The China Quarterly.

Liang, L. (2019). Crafting Resonance in a Sports Media Event: The Olympic Games as a Transnational Social Drama. Journalism Studies. 20(3) 401-422.

Fen Lin

Dr. Fen Lin's research interest include the evolution and transformation of the relationship between the state, the media and the courts, and their impacts on the political regime. She is also studying the role of media in constructing public opinion and shaping social movements.

Selected publications:

Lin, F. and X. Zhang. (2018). Movement-press dynamics and news diffusion: A typology of activism in digital China. The China Review. 18 (2), 33-63.

He, X. and F, Lin. (2017).  The losing media? An empirical study of defamation litigation in China, The China Quarterly. 230: 371-298 

Lin, F., and D, Zhao. (2016). Social movements as a dialogic process: Framing, interpretation schemata and the dynamics of the anti-CNN movement, Chinese Sociological Review. 48(3): 185-208 

Lin Wan-Ying

Dr. Lin Wan-Ying’s research area includes political uses and effects of new media, with a focus on youths.

Selected publications:

Lin, W.-Y. & Zhang, X. (in press). Digital Politics in Mainland China: Participation in an Unlikely Place, forthcoming in Dutton, W. H. (Ed.), A Research Agenda for Digital Politics. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.

Zhang, X. & Lin, W.-Y. (2018) Hanging together or not? Impacts of social media use and organizational membership on individual and collective political actions. International Political Science Review, 39(2):273-289.

Lin, W.-Y., Cao, B., & Zhang, X. (2017). To speak or not to speak? Predicting college students’ outspokenness in the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong. International Journal of Communication, 11:3704-3720.

Chris Fei Shen

Dr. Fei Shen ('Chris') is a keen observer of the social and political impacts of new media technologies. His empirical work examines how people make use of new media technologies in different settings and how the internet helps reshape people's behavior and redistribute power in societies, in particular, in authoritarian regimes.

Selected publications:

Shen, F., Xia, C., & Skoric, M. (2020). Examining the roles of social media and alternative media in social movement participation: A study of Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement. Telematics and Informatics, 47, 101303.

Shen, F.& Tsui, L. (2018). Revisiting the Asian Values Thesis: An Empirical Study of Asian Values, Internet Use, and Support for Freedom of Expression in 11 Societies. Asian Survey, 58(3), 535-556.

Shen, F. (2017). Internet Use, Freedom Supply, and Demand for Internet Freedom: A Cross-National Study of 20 Countries. International Journal of Communication, 11, 2093–2114.

Marko M. Skoric

Dr. Marko M. Skoric’s research interests are focused on new media and social change, with a particular emphasis on the civic and political implications of digital technologies. He also studies the emerging forms of environmental engagement and grassroots sustainability initiatives in Asia.

Selected publications:

Skoric, M. M., & Zhang, N. (2019). Opinion leadership, media use, and environmental engagement in China. International Journal of Communication. 19, 1-22.

Skoric, M. M., Zhu, Q., Goh, D., & Pang, N. (2016). Social media & citizen engagement: A meta-analytic review. New Media & Society, 18(9), 1817-1839.

Skoric, M. M. & Zhu, Q. (2016). Social media and offline political participation:  Uncovering the paths from digital to physical. International Journal of Public Opinion Research, 28(3), 415-426.