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Professor Wanning Sun


Wanning Sun FAHA is Professor of Media and Communication Studies, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, UTS. Her book publications include: 

  • Leaving China: Media, Migration, and Transnational Imagination (2002) 
  • Maid in China: Media, Morality and the Cultural Politics of Boundaries (2009) 
  • Subaltern China: Rural Migrants, Media and Cultural Practices ( 2014)
  • Mapping Media in China: Locality, Region and Province (2013, with J. Chio)
  • Unequal China: the Political Economy and Cultural Politics of Inequality (2013, with Y. Guo)
  • Media and Communication in the Chinese Diaspora: Rethinking Transnationlism (2016, with J.Sinclair)

Wanning is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Humanities. She is a member of the editorial board for Communication, Culture & Critique (ICA), Asian Journal of Communication,Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, and the China Journal.

Image of Wanning Sun
Professor, Public Communication Program
PhD in Media and Communication
+61 2 9514 9939

Research Interests

  • Chinese media and cultural studies
  • Soft power, public diplomacy and communication in China
  • Rural-to-urban migration and cultural politics of inequality
  • Diasporic Chinese media and Chinse media in Australia
  • Health and environmental communication

Can supervise: Yes


Lewis, T., Martin, F. & Sun, W. 2016, Telemodernities: Television and Transforming Lives in Asia, Duke University Press, USA.
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Yoga gurus on lifestyle cable channels targeting time-pressured Indian urbanites; Chinese dating shows promoting competitive individualism; Taiwanese domestic makeover formats combining feng shui with life planning advice: Asian TV screens are increasingly home to a wild proliferation of popular factual programs providing lifestyle guidance to viewers. In Telemodernities Tania Lewis, Fran Martin, and Wanning Sun demonstrate how lifestyle-oriented popular factual television illuminates key aspects of late modernities in South and East Asia, offering insights not only into early twenty-first-century media cultures but also into wider developments in the nature of public and private life, identity, citizenship, and social engagement. Drawing on extensive interviews with television industry professionals and audiences across China, India, Taiwan, and Singapore, Telemodernities uses popular lifestyle television as a tool to help us understand emergent forms of identity, sociality, and capitalist modernity in Asia
Sun, W. 2014, Subaltern China: Rural Migrants, Media, and Cultural Practices, 1, Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham MA USA.
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Single authored research monograph
Sun, W. 2009, Maid in China: Media, Morality and the Cultural Politics of Boundaries, 1, Routledge, London, UK.
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Maid in China is the first systematic, book-length investigation of internal rural migration in post-Mao China focused on the day-to-day production and consumption of popular media. Taking the rural maid in the urban home as its point of departure, the book weaves together three years of engaged ethnographic research in Beijing and Shanghai with critical analyses of a diverse array of popular media, and follows three lines of inquiry: media and cultural production, consumption practices, and everyday politics. It unravels some of the myriad ways in which the subaltern figure of the domestic worker comes to be inscribed with the cultural politics of boundaries that entrench a host of inequalitiesbetween rich and poor, male and female, rural and urban. Wanning Sun explores a number of paradoxes that the domestic worker lives out on a daily basis: her ubiquitous invisibility, her enduring transience, and her status as an intimate stranger. Collectively, these paradoxes afford her a unique window onto the spaces and practices of the modern Chinese city. This intimate strangers epistemological status makes her an unauthorized yet authoritative witness of urban residents social lives, offering a revealing lens through which to examine both the formation of new social relations in post-reform urban China, and the new social uses of spaceboth domestic and publicengendered by these relations.
Sun, W. 2002, Leaving China: Media, Migration and Transnational Imagination, 1, Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham, Maryland.
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Sun, W. 2017, 'The greying of greenspeak? Environmental issues, media discourses, and consumer practices in China' in Lewis, T. (ed), Green Asia Ecocultures, Sustainable Lifestyles and Ethical Consumption, Routledge, Abingdon, Oxon, pp. 99-113.
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This book presents an analysis of a range of practices and activities from across Asia that demonstrate that people in Asia are alert to ecological concerns, that they are taking action to implement new styles of green living, and that Asia ...
Sun, W. 2016, 'The Conundrum of the "honorary whites": Media and being Chinese in South Africa' in Sun, W. & Sinclair, J. (eds), Media and Communication in the Chinese Diaspora: Rethinking Transnationalism, Routledge, pp. 32-47.
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Sun, W. & Gorfinkel, L. 2016, 'Television, scale and place-identity in the PRC: Provincial, national and global influences from 1958 to 2013' in Tay, J. & Turner, G. (eds), Television Histories in Asia: Issues and Contexts, Taylor and Francis Inc., USA, pp. 19-37.
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Sun, W. & Sinclair, J. 2016, 'Introduction: Rethinking Chinese diasporic media' in Sun, W. & Sinclair, J. (eds), Media and Communication in the Chinese Diaspora: Rethinking Transnationalism, Routledge, UK, pp. 1-14.
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Sun, W. 2016, 'Mediatization of yangsheng: The political and cultural economy of health education through media in China' in Martin, F. & Lewis, T. (eds), Lifestyle Media in Asia Consumption, Aspiration and Identity, Routledge, New York, pp. 67-81.
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Sun, W. 2016, 'Cultural Politics of class: workers and peasants as historical subjects' in Handbook on Class and Social Stratification in China, Edward Elgar Publishing, pp. 107-127.
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The Handbook on Class and Social Stratification in China explores critical contemporary topics which are rarely put in perspective or schematized, therefore placing it at the forefront of progressive scholarship.
Lei, W., Gorfinkel, L. & Sun, W. 2016, 'The urban-rural divide in China's cultural industries: the case of Chinese radio' in Handbook of Cultural and Creative Industries in China, Edward Elgar Publishing, pp. 259-275.
in the interaction between politics, economy and culture in China a new spatial configuration can be observed: the east coastal areas, the middle areas and now the western areas. Most minorities are concentrated in the western areas, which ...
Sun, W. 2015, 'Teaching people how to live: Shenghuo programs on Chinese television' in Bai, R. & Song, G. (eds), Chinese Television in the Twenty-First Century, Routledge, London, pp. 17-32.
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Sun, W. 2015, 'Workers and Peasants as Historical Subjects: The Formation of Working Class Media Cultures in China' in Rawnsley, G. & Rawnsley M-Y (eds), Routledge Handbook of Chinese Media, Routledge, London, pp. 239-249.
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Sun, W. 2014, 'Mediatization with Chinese characteristics; political legitimacy, public diplomacy and the new art of propaganda' in Lundby, K. (ed), Mediatization of Communication, De Gruyter, pp. 87-105.
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Sun, W. 2013, 'Inequality and culture: a new pathway to understanding social inequality' in Sun, W. & Guo, Y. (eds), Unequal China: Political Economy and the Cultural Politics of Inequality, Routledge, UK, pp. 27-42.
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Sun, W. & Guo, Y. 2013, 'Introduction' in Sun, W. & Guo, Y. (eds), Unequal China: The political economy and cultural politics of inequality, Routledge, London, pp. 1-11.
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Sun, W. 2013, 'China's rise and the (trans)national connections: the global diasporic Chinese mediasphere' in Tan Chee-Beng (ed), Routledge Handbook of the Chinese Diaspora, Routledge, New York, pp. 433-445.
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Sun, W. & Chio, J.T. 2012, 'Introduction' in Sun, W. & Chio, J. (eds), Mapping Media In China: Region, Province, Locality, Routledge, UK, pp. 3-12.
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Sun, W. 2012, 'Localizing Chinese media: a geographic turn in media and communication research' in Sun, W. & Chio, J. (eds), Mapping Media In China: Region, Province, Locality, Routledge, UK, pp. 13-27.
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Sun, W. 2012, 'The Poetry of Spiritual Homelessness: A Creative Practice of Coping with Industrial Alienation' in Andrew Kipnes (ed), Chinese Modernity and the Individual Psyche, Palgrave MacMillan, New York, pp. 67-85.
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Indust rialization involves a range of spatia l and institutional practices that "turn a young and rural body into an industri alized and productive laborer" (Pun 2005: 77), tra nsform ing " lazy" a nd "unproductive" laborers " bodies and minds, behaviours and beliefs, gestures and habits, and attitudes and aptitudes" (79). These practices incl ude placi ng the body on ind ividu ated positions on the assembly line (Rofel 1999), and imposing the t imeta ble. Note t he followi ng poem about how a dago"g (working for the boss) migrant reacts to the factory bell:
Sun, W. & Chio, J. 2012, 'Mapping Media in China: Region, province, locality', pp. 1-238.
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Mapping Media in China is the first book-length study that goes below the 'national' scale to focus on the rich diversity of media in China from local, provincial and regional angles. China's media has played a crucial role in shaping and directing the country's social and cultural changes, and whilst these shifts have often been discussed as a single and coherent phenomenon, this ignores the vast array of local and regional variations within the country's borders. This book explores media as both a reflection of the diversity within China and as an active agent behind these growing differences. It examines the role of media in shaping regional, provincial and local identities through the prism of media economics and technology, media practices, audiences, as well as media discourses. The book covers a wide range of themes, including civil society, political resistance, state power and the production and consumption of place-specific memory and imagination. With contributions from around the world, including original ethnographic material from scholars based in China, Mapping Media in China is an original book which spans a broad range of disciplines. It will be invaluable to both students and scholars of Chinese and Asian studies, media and communication studies, geography, anthropology and cultural studies. © 2012 Wanning Sun and Jenny Chio.
Sun, W. 2011, 'Maid as Metaphor: Dagongmei and a New Pathway to Chinese Transnational Capital' in Hegde, R.S. (ed), Circuits of Visibility: Gender and Transnational Media Cultures, New York University Press, 2011, pp. 196-211.
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refereed research book chapter
Sun, W. & Zhao, Y. 2009, 'Television culture with 'Chinese characteristics': the politics of compassion and education' in Turner, G. & Tay, J. (eds), Television Studies After TV: Understanding Television in the Post-Broadcast Era, Routledge, London, UK, pp. 96-104.
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Sun, W. 2008, 'Men, Women and the Maid: At Home With the New Rich' in Goodman, D.S.G. (ed), The New Rich in China: Future Rulers, Present Lives, Routledge, London, UK, pp. 89-102.
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Sun, W. 2008, 'The Curse of the Everyday: Politics of Representation and New Social Semiotics in Post-socialist China' in Sen, K. & Lee, T. (eds), Politics, Media and Regime Change in Asia, Routledge, London, pp. 31-48.
Sun, W. 2008, 'Maids in the Televisual City: Competing Tales of Post-Socialist Modernity' in Zhu, Y., Keane, M. & Bai, R. (eds), TV Drama In China, Hong Kong University Press, Hong Kong, pp. 145-156.
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Sun, W. 2008, 'Maids in the Televisual City: Competing Tales of Post-Socialist Modernity' in Zhu Ying (ed), Television Dramas in China, Hong Kong University Press, Hong Kong, pp. 89-102.
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Chinese television dramas over the past few decades have seen the rise and decline of various narratives: stories of successful entrepreneurs, stories of Chinese going to live overseas, anti-corruption political drama, crime and police drama, not to mention epic historical dramas reinterpreting Chinese historical figures and events. None of these, however, quite captures the imagination of urban residents as vividly as narratives of ordinary people living mundane lives in their homes on an everyday basis. And no other narratives speak to the emerging urban middle-class's fear and anxiety about the urban "other" more palpably than the stories of the maid. For the first time since the founding of the PRC, the relaxing of the hukou system unleashed massive rural-to-urban migration, which has permanently and profoundly changed the streetscape of the Chinese city as well as the habitat of its residents.
Sun, W. 2008, 'The Curse of the Everyday: Politics of Representation and New Social Semiotics in Post-Socialist China' in Sen, K. & Lee, T. (eds), Political Regimes and the Media in Asia, Routledge, UK, pp. 31-48.
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In the popular sector of international media, especially visual media such as television, China is represented as embracing capitalism at a phenomenal speed, swept along by consumerism, market liberalism, globalization and technological convergence. Stories ranging from the conspicuous consumption of the "new rich," the emergence of the middle-class, the "explosive" growth of Internet users, mobile phone owners or car buyers for that matter - usually complete with figures and statistics intended to show staggering increase - to the triumphant arrival of Rupert Murdoch's News Corps, fall comfortably into this narrative framework.
Sun, W. 2006, 'Anhui Baomu in Shanghai: Gender, Class and A Sense of Place' in Wang Jing (ed), Locating China: Space, Place and Popular Culture, Routledge, London, UK, pp. 171-189.
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Sun, W. 2006, 'The Leaving of Anhui: The Southward Journey Towards the Knowledges Class' in Oakes, T. & Schein, L. (eds), Translocal China: Linkages, Identities and the Re-imagining of Space, Routledge, London and New York, pp. 238-261.
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Popular narratives of mobility, if and when constructed in reference to Anhui, are usually framed within a discourse of rural poverty and economic hardship, and as such, tend to mobilise the trope of history. In fact, the mere mention ofAnhui in China immediately conjures up, in most people's minds, the image of the domestic maid. As early as the 1960s and 1970s, Anhui, a largely rural province in eastern China, became the source ofa seemingly endless supply of maids for middle class families in more prosperous regions such as Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Shanghai, and Beijing. This phenomenon therefore represents a particular form of gendered mobilityin whichrural, poor, andilliterate womenfrom northern provinces travel to large cities like Beijing to perform domestic servitude. My preliminary research has found that the "Anhui maid" is seen as a metaphor for the gendered, unequal, and uneven relationship between Anhui and developed places such as Shanghai and Beijing (Sun 2005). Mobile, plentiful, and available at any time, she also embodies the enduring potency of such a metaphor. The Anhui maid is a national brand name, a product, whose cachet, authenticity, and desirability are made possible not in spite of, but precisely because of, the uniqueness of Anhui as a poor, backward, and un-modern place. In this sense, the association ofAnhui with poverty operates as both a metaphor-Anhui is like a maid-and metonym-the maid stands for Anhui.
Sun, W. 2005, 'Di da guoji hua dushi: dianshiju yu kongjian xiang xiang (Arriving in the Global City: Television Dramas and Spatial Imagination)' in Chunjin, Q. & Zhu, Y. (eds), Zhongmei Dianshi Bijiao Yanjour (Television Drama: Chinese and US Perspectives), Sanlian Press, Shanghai, China, pp. 82-102.
Sun, W. 2004, 'The Maid in China: opportunities, challenges and the story of becoming modern' in McLaren, A.E. (ed), Chinese Women: Working and Living, RoutledgeCurzon, London, UK, pp. 65-82.
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Sun, W. 2004, 'Indoctrination, Fetishization, and Compassion: Media Constructions of the Migrant Woman' in Gaetano, A.M. & Jacka, T. (eds), On The Move: Women in Rural-to-Urban Migration in Contemporary China, Columbia University Press, New York, USA, pp. 109-128.
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Sun, W. 2004, 'Ren, tuxiang yu difang: xiang (People, Images and Places: A new Way of Conceptualising Flow)' in Guo Zhenzhi (ed), Quangqiu Hua Yua Wenhua Jiaoliu (Globalization and Intnercultural Media and Communication), Beijing Institute of Broadcasting Press, Beijing, pp. 119-130.
Sun, W. 2003, 'Anhui' in Das Grosse CHina-Lexikon: Geschichte, Geographie, Gesellschaft, Politik, Wirtschaft, Bildung, Wissenshaft, Kultur, Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Hamburg, pp. 14-16.
Sun, W. 2003, 'The maid in China: Opportunities, challenges and the story of becoming modern' in Chinese Women - Living and Working, pp. 63-80.
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Sun, W. 2002, 'Discourse of Poverty: Weakness, Potential and Provincial Identity in Anhui' in John Fitzgerald (ed), Rethinking China's Provinces, Routledge, London, pp. 153-178.
Sun, W. 2002, 'Semiotic over-determination or 'indoctritainment'; television, citizenship and the Olympic Games' in Donald, S., Keane, M. & Hong, Y. (eds), Media in China: Consumption, Content and Crisis, RoutledgeCurzon, London, UK, pp. 116-127.
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Sun, W. 2008, 'Mobile Bodies, Mobiles Signs: The Story of Rural Migrants in Urban China', Globalized Bodies and Embodied Globalization in Asia-Pacific, Melbourne University.
Sun, W. 2007, 'Just Looking: Maids in the City and Spatial Turn to Consumption?', Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.
Sun, W. 2007, 'Maid in the Panoptic Home', International Symposium on Labour, Economics and Migration, University of Western Australia.
Sun, W. 2006, 'Between net-mum and working sisters: IT technologies and the question of power', New Media and Citizenship in China, Wisconsin University, Madison, Wisconsin.
Sun, W. 2006, 'Maid in China: Gendered Mobilities between the State and Market', Asian Migration Conference, SUNY Binghamton, New York.
Sun, W. 2005, 'Beijing 2008, Human Rights and Media Games', SUNY Binghamton.
Sun, W. 2005, 'The Maid and Her Master: Refashioning Masculinities at Home', American Anthropology Association Meeting, Washington, DC.
Sun, W. 2004, 'Beneath the Surface of a Good Place: Conversations with Some Domestic Workers', International Workshop on Provincial China, Hunter Valley, NSW.
Sun, W. 2004, 'From the Sensational to the Mundane: Citizenship, Human Rights, and Rural Migrants in the Chinese Media', Empire, Media and Poltical Regimes in Asia, Murdoch University.
Sun, W. 2002, 'People, Image and Place: New Ways of Conceptualising Flow', Media in China: Content Consumption and Crisis, Melbourne.
Sun, W. 2002, 'Anhui Maids and Translocal Imagination', Workshop on Provincial China, Hainan, China.
Sun, W. 2002, 'Beautiful New World: Cinema, City and Transnational Imagination', Pub Talk, Fremantle, Western Australia.
Sun, W. 2002, 'Investigative reporting and Citizenship in China', Mediating Human Rights and Democracy: Indonesia, Australia and the Netherlands, Perth, Western Australia.
Sun, W. 2001, 'Anhui Working Girls in Shanghai', Workshp on Provincial China, Hangzhou, China.
Sun, W. 2001, 'Space and Mobility: New Ways of Thinking About Media and Social Change in China', Cultural Studies Association of Australia Conference 'What's Left of Theory?', Hobart, Tasmania.
Sun, W. 2000, 'The Politics of Compassion: Journalism, Class Formation and Social Change in China', Communication and Cultural Identity in Asia, Mt Tamborine, Queensland.
Sun, W. 2000, 'The Anhui Working Girl: Gendered Mobilities and Social Change', Provincial China Workshop, Taiyuan, China.
Sun, W. 2000, 'Meaningful Games: Australian Images, Chinese Viewers', Television: Past, Present and Future, University of Queensland, Brisbane.
Sun, W. 2000, 'Negotiating Chineseness Through the Borrowed Mirror: Television Dramas, Videos, and Exile Audiences', Australian Anthropology Society Conference, Perth, Western Australia.
Sun, W. 2000, 'Why Bashing Americans is Good Business: Nationalism, Best-Sellers and Media War', 13th Asian Studies Association Conference, Melbourne.
Sun, W. 1999, 'Between the State and the Market: Nationalism and Popular Culture in China', Provincial China Workshop, Hong Kong.

Journal articles

Sun, W. & Lei, W. 2017, 'In Search of Intimacy in China: The Emergence of Advice Media for the Privatized Self', Communication, Culture and Critique, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 20-38.
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© 2016 International Communication AssociationOne consequence of China's post-Mao economic reforms was the radical privatization of the public sector. Unshackled from the prescribed social norms and commitments of socialism, individuals were thrown into a hitherto unavailable space in which they could experiment with different modes of self-formation. With this came an urgent need for guidance to help citizens find their bearings in the new moral-sexual-economic order. Tracking the emergence of some new radio and television formats over the past 3 decades, and taking an approach that is at once political-economic and cultural, we analyze the role of the Chinese media in producing advice on love and personal relationships in the reform era, paying attention to the paradoxical relationship between intimacy construction and advice provision.
Sun, W. & Yu, H. 2017, 'Digital/Social Media and the Chinese Community in Australia', Media Asia.
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Sun, W. 2016, 'Regimes of healthy living: The reality of ageing in urban China and the cultivation of new normative subjects', Journal of Consumer Culture, vol. 16, no. 3, pp. 908-925.
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China is quickly becoming one of the most ageing populations in Asia. Ageing and the associated issue of health care are becoming two key concerns for the government, the market, individual senior citizens and medical and health professionals alike. However, although we have some knowledge about what issues and problems exist in the domain of health and ageing, we know little about how these issues and problems inform individuals' consumption practices and ethical positions of how they should live their lives. This article explores a range of problematic and uncertain situations facing the ageing population in urban China. Drawing on in-depth interviews with more than 20 senior citizens in a Chinese city, the article aims to understand the process by which new ethical ageing subjects come to be formed as individuals negotiate their positions vis-à-vis consumer advice from medical and health professionals, the government and the market. The article starts by identifying the most powerful forces shaping the health-keeping discourses and consumption practices adopted by senior citizens. It then provides an account of how ordinary retired citizens engage in health-keeping practices on a daily basis. Finally, the article outlines the host of feelings that motivate China's senior citizens' active participation in the regimes of healthy living, as well as a range of everyday ethical positions that emerge from their consumption practices. The article argues that as China has been transformed from a socialist state into a neoliberal regime, questions of how neoliberalism works as both a set of techniques of governing and a set of socio-economic policies in the Chinese context must be answered. In the same way that the biopower is a pertinent question to ask of any modern society, how a neoliberal governmentality and its biopolitics work in the Chinese context is both relevant and timely.
Sun, W. 2016, 'By accident or by design? A Chinese dating show and soft power', Media Asia, vol. 43, no. 1, pp. 18-20.
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Sun, W. 2016, 'Public intimacy: Contestation over young Chinese rural migrants love life', Communication and the Public, vol. 1, no. 2, pp. 263-268.
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Reforms in China's household registration system over the past few decades have allowed vast number of rural residents to enter the city in search of work. Young factory workers are subject to a high level of discipline within the industrial regime. The dearth of time, space, and money has one practical implication for workers' love lives: often enough, it is difficult to practice intimacy, and when they do try, it may have to be in public places. In January 2013, a group of 30 photos appeared on ifeng.com, an online platform for Phoenix TV and one of China's best known Internet portals. Entitled 'Rural Migrants' Love in Dongguan, these photos 'went viral within a short period of time, appearing on many websites in China and beyond. Through a juxtaposition of public debates online and some workers' own views on these images, this article discusses the cultural politics of class and visibility in the digital age.
Sun, W. 2016, 'Out to Work: Migration, Gender, and the Changing Lives of Rural Women in Contemporary China', CHINA INFORMATION, vol. 30, no. 1, pp. 108-109.
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Sun, W. 2015, 'Cultivating self-health subjects: Yangsheng and biocitizenship in urban China', Citizenship Studies, vol. 19, no. 3-4, pp. 285-298.
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China's transformation from state-run socialism to market economy has resulted in the progressive privatization of a number of key areas, including public health. At the same time, research suggests that the privatization of public service has given accelerated the formation of self-governing subjects who will enrich and strengthen Chinese authoritarian rule. This is most vividly demonstrated in the tendency of Chinese consumers to engage in the practice of self-health, an integral dimension of the wide-spread yangsheng (life-nurturing) practice at the grassroots level. Engaging with the concept of biocitizenship, and combining critical analysis of media with ethnographic fieldwork, this paper examines a nationwide process of health literacy education through popular media and the ways in which this process shapes yangsheng as both discourse and practice. It also identifies a range of ethical positions adopted by individual citizens in response to yangsheng as a discourse, practice and industry. The discussion reveals that biological citizenship has indeed become a new and integral dimension of China's citizenship project in the twenty-first century. We learn that while there is indeed an unambiguously top-down process of making biocitizens, a certain level of biological citizenship 'from below' is also present, albeit with distinct Chinese characteristics.
Sun, W. 2015, 'Slow boat from China: public discourses behind the 'going global' media policy', INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CULTURAL POLICY, vol. 21, no. 4, pp. 400-418.
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Sun, W. 2015, 'Configuring the foreign correspondent: New questions about China's public diplomacy', Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 125-138.
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© 2015 Macmillan Publishers Ltd.The perennial narrative of foreign correspondents' misadventures in China alerts us to a blind spot in current examinations of China's public diplomacy efforts. Much work has been done to indicate the level of efforts on the part of the state actors in their engagement of public diplomacy exercises. However, how foreign media shapes the success or failure of public diplomacy is not at all clear. Yet knowing the answer to this question is crucial if we are to understand the depth and breadth of the challenges facing China's public diplomacy goals. Concerned with this question, this article, combining institutional and historical analyses, centres upon the figure of the foreign correspondent in China, and raises the empirical and conceptual question of the role of the foreign correspondent in China's public diplomacy agenda. The article's main objective is to chart a new direction in the examination of China's soft power, public diplomacy and communication strategies.
Sun, W. 2015, 'Remembering the Age of Iron: Television dramas about Chinese workers in the socialist era', China Perspectives, no. 2, pp. 33-42.
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Over the past few years we have witnessed a minor cultural phenomenon in China, with the production and enthusiastic reception nationwide of several television dramas about Chinese workers in the socialist decades. Set in the industrial plants of Liaoning in China's northeast, once the industrial powerhouse of the socialist nation, these drama series centre on the dramatic transformation in workers' experiences from 1949 to the start of economic reforms. In this paper I explore these series, asking: what does the smallscale production but enthusiastic reception of this genre tell us about the contemporary cultural politics of class? This paper addresses this question by (1) highlighting the key aspects of workers' experiences with socialism as depicted in these television narratives; (2) considering the creative agenda of Gao Mantang, the script writer of the most successful industrial-themed television series; and (3) identifying some crucial ways in which the subjectivity of workers and other social groups in contemporary Chinese society intersect to shape the cultural politics of class. This discussion shows that television dramas have indeed become the basis of a widely accessible public forum that helps forge a renewed appreciation of the moral integrity of China's working class, vent a widespread sense of injustice, and foster a certain degree of solidarity between workers and other social classes. At the same time, while television dramas about workers may hold significant potential for mobilising public support for the working class and advocating workers' interests, this discussion also suggests that so far this potential has not been fully exploited.
Sun, W. 2015, 'From Poisonous Weeds to Endangered Species: Shenghuo TV, Media Ecology and Stability Maintenance', Journal of Current Chinese Affairs, vol. 44, no. 2, pp. 17-37.
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Sun, W. 2015, 'Editorial', China Perspectives, no. 2015, 2, pp. 3-5.
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Sun, W. & Hassid, J. 2015, 'Stability Maintenance and Chinese Media: Beyond Political Communication?', Journal of Current Chinese Affairs, vol. 44, no. 2, pp. 3-15.
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An introduction is presented in which the editors discuss various reports within the issue on topics including media and communication in China, online communication in China, and China's responsiveness to Internet opinion.
Sun, W. 2014, ''Northern Girls': Cultural Politics of Agency and South China's Migrant Literature', Asian Studies Review, vol. 38, no. 2, pp. 168-185.
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original research article
Sun, W. 2014, 'Media Events: Past, Present and Future', Sociology Compass, vol. 8, no. 5, pp. 457-467.
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Original research article
Sun, W. 2014, 'Foreign or Chinese: Reconfiguring the Symbolic Space of Chinese Media', International Journal of Communication, vol. 8, pp. 1894-1911.
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refereed research article
Sun, W. 2013, 'Scaling lifestyle in China: The emergence of local television cultures and the cultural economy of place-making', Media International Australia incorporating Culture & Policy, vol. 147, no. 1, pp. 62-72.
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Media in China consist less and less of national-scale media, and more and more of media at a range of sub-national scales, including the region, province, municipality, county and village. In the television sector, local and provincial television has become national in terms of access, and television at sub-national levels has had to become much more intensely local and provincial as a way to achieve difference, and therefore survive and thrive in the competitive media market. Against this background, this article is a comparative analysis of the production, consumption and actual programs of lifestyle television between local/semi-rural, metropolitan and national television. It argues that a growing recognition of the appreciable value of the 'local' and 'regional' in the cultural economy of place-making has given rise to a plethora of place-specific media forms, and that scale plays a pivotal role in shaping distinct locality-appropriate taste, outlook and sensibility.
Sun, W. 2013, 'The cultural politics of recognition: Rural migrants and documentary films in China', Journal of Chinese Cinemas, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 3-20.
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The question of how China's rural migrants are recognized, in a political context that is dominated by the `zhu xuanlu'/`main melody' of social harmony, and in an economic environment that puts profit above social, cultural and morality concerns, is crucial to our understanding of the cultural politics of subalterneity. This article explores the ways in which the camera mediates the unequal relationship between the documentary film-maker and the rural migrant subject, and, in doing so, reveals a diverse politics of recognition. My aim is to understand how a particular politics of recognition has come to inform and shape the film-makers styles, aesthetics and themes. I situate this analysis within the larger politicaleconomic context of the production and consumption of documentaries. By closely engaging with some of the documentary texts, this article offers examples of a range of perspectives and narrative strategies in configuring the rural migrant figure.
Sun, W. 2013, 'The cultural politics of recognition: Rural migrants and documentary films in China', Journal of Chinese Cinemas, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 3-20.
View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
The question of how China's rural migrants are recognized, in a political context that is dominated by the 'zhu xuanlu'/'main melody' of social harmony, and in an economic environment that puts profit above social, cultural and morality concerns, is crucial to our understanding of the cultural politics of subalterneity. This article explores the ways in which the camera mediates the unequal relationship between the documentary film-maker and the rural migrant subject, and, in doing so, reveals a diverse politics of recognition. My aim is to understand how a particular politics of recognition has come to inform and shape the film-maker's styles, aesthetics and themes. I situate this analysis within the larger political-economic context of the production and consumption of documentaries. By closely engaging with some of the documentary texts, this article offers examples of a range of perspectives and narrative strategies in configuring the rural migrant figure.© 2013 Intellect Ltd Article.
Sun, W. 2012, 'Rescaling media in China: the formations of local, provincial, and regional media cultures', Chinese Journal of Communication, vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 10-15.
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A refereed journal article on Chinese media
Sun, W. 2012, 'Screening Inequality', Berliner China-Hefte, vol. 40, pp. 6-20.
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refereed journal article
Sun, W. 2012, 'Subalternity With Chinese Characteristics: Rural Migrants, Cultural Activism, And Digital Video Filmmaking', Javnost - the Public, vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 83-99.
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Like the indigenous media activists elsewhere, rural migrant individuals in China are now using digital DV camera to produce work to document the lives and work of rural migrants in the Chinese city. In doing so, rural migrant filmmakers provide perspect
Sun, W. 2012, 'Desperately seeking my wages', Media Culture & Society, vol. 34, no. 7, pp. 864-879.
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Much has been written about the working conditions, experiences of injustice and exploitation, and the formation of the working class in the construction sector in China. However, we know very little about the role of media in the process of gaining/denying voice and visibility. Combining critiques of media forms and media practices with ethnographic insights, and in juxtaposition to the two dominant, or hegemonic, media forms - reality TV shows and media events - which embody, respectively, the market and the Party-state's efforts to exploit the 'media logic', the article considers the success and failure of rural migrant construction workers' media tactics in their struggles to claim wages owed to them. This article is concerned with the politics of voice, and explores how the processes of mediation and mediatization engaged in by all parties - the Party-state, the market, workers and the media - amplify or constrain voice.
Lewis, T., Martin, F. & Sun, W. 2012, 'Lifestyling Asia? Shaping modernity and selfhood on life-advice programming', International Journal of Cultural Studies, vol. 15, no. 6, pp. 537-566.
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This article discusses the early findings of a research project examining the role of lifestyle television in Asia. Life-advice programming in East Asia includes a range of `popular factual formats from cooking and health shows to makeover and consumer advice shows. A growing body of Anglo-American scholarship emphasizes the cultural importance of lifestyle programming, suggesting that the explosion of lifestyle formats at this particular cultural-historical moment connects to broader transformations in western neoliberal states, especially the rise of individualized, consumer-based models of identity and citizenship. Focusing on Singapore, China and Taiwan, this article offers a discussion of the potential of such arguments in these contexts, in light of our findings about the forms of life-advice programming prevalent in these three television industries. In particular, it explores the relevance (or not) of Anglo-American theories of neoliberal selfhood in these sites as read through the lens of lifestyle television
Sun, W. 2012, 'Poetry of labour and (Dis)articulation of class: China's worker-poets and the cultural politics of boundaries', Journal of Contemporary China, vol. 21, no. 78, pp. 993-1010.
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'Dagong' means 'working for the boss', and bespeaks the commodification of labour. Over the past two and a half decades, a minor literary genre has emerged from this dagong community, documenting the crushing effect of the industrial machine on the body and soul of rural migrant workers. This paper considers the paradoxical process of class formation and class dissipation through the prism of the debates and commentaries surrounding workers' poetry from elite cultural institutions and worker-poets themselves. This discussion suggests that these commentaries and debates constitute both class articulations and disarticulations, and together they point to the precariousness of the formation of worksing-class consciousness in contemporary China.
Sun, W. 2012, 'Amateur photography as self-ethnography: China's rural migrant workers and the question of digital-political literacy', Media International Australia, vol. 145, pp. 135-144.
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In recent decades, some distinctive cultural practices have emerged from Chinas rural migrant worker community. A small but growing number of rural migrant workers are consciously using the camera on their mobile phones to engage in varying levels of political and cultural activism. This article is concerned with the macro-level question of digital literacy and political consciousness among Chinas rural migrant working class, but it pursues this question through a close-up account of some individual rural migrants initial encounters and subsequent experiences with the camera. By examining their cultural activist practices, and adopting a mode of inquiry most often used in visual anthropology, the article discusses issues of class consciousness and digital literacy. Drawing on sustained interaction with a dozen migrant activists in Beijing from 2009 to 2011, it provides a preliminary evaluation of the potential of digital media to construct collective self-ethnography, as well as its capacity to effect political socialisation and social change.
Sun, W., Yue, A., Sinclair, J. & Gao, J. 2011, 'Diasporic Chinese media in Australia: A post-2008 overview', Continuum, vol. 25, no. 4, pp. 515-527.
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Despite the exponential growth of Chinese migrants in Australia, and despite the sizable body of work in various locations, the picture of how the Chinese-language media have developed in Australia over the past decade is still somewhat unclear. Even less clear is a sense of how the field has changed since the 2008 Beijing Olympics Games, a significant event that signalled China's ascent on to the global stage. This paper seeks to update the picture of the Chinese-language media landscape in Australia. We explore a number of angles, which work in articulation to produce a picture of growing complexity and fluidity. In doing so, we put forward a number of arguments. First, the diasporic Chinese-language media are subject to, as well as respond to, the vagaries of the wax and wane of the multicultural polity of the host nation. In addition, the diasporic Chinese-language media, for a wide range of reasons: technological, cultural, and economic; need to reassess their cultural role and strategies in the wake of the PRC's new status as a global power and its push for expansion of its media content and cultural impact outside China. Furthermore, to a varying extent and in a variety of ways, the diasporic Chinese-language media have become part and parcel of the global transnational cultural economies of Chinese-language media productions.
Sun, W., Gao, J., Sinclair, J. & Yue, A. 2011, 'The Chinese-Language Press in Australia: A Preliminary Scoping Study', Media International Australia, vol. 138, no. 138, pp. 137-148.
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Despite clear evidence pointing to the centrality of the Chinese press in the historical formation of the Chinese community, and despite the continued importance of the Chinese-language press in the current political, cultural, social and economic life of the Chinese community, there is little understanding of its history and recent growth in mainstream English-language media scholarship. Worse still, the shift in recent scholarship to the power of cyberspace and other forms of new media in assisting the formations of diasporic subjectivities runs the risk of giving the impression that the print media are no longer relevant. Our article aims to address this blind spot by mapping out the contours of change and continuity within the Chinese language press in Australia. In the first part, we provide a brief historical account of the Chinese migrant communities in Australia, and the role of the press in their formation.
Sun, W. 2010, 'Mission Impossible: Soft Power, Communication Capacity, and the Globalization of Chinese Media', International Journal of Communication, vol. 4, pp. 19-26.
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Recent media policy statements made by the Chinese Communist Partys leadership invariably stress the importance of strengthening Chinese medias communication capacity, but how communication is understood by the CCP leadership remains somewhat unclear. Engaging a range of perspectives from critical media and communication studies, this article examines a dominant view of communication held by the Chinese leadership and explores a number of ways in which that view shapes the direction of Chinese medias efforts to go global. Through the prism of media events, including the CCTVs coverage of the Sichuan earthquake, news, and current affairs, this article argues that, despite the increased quantity of Chinese media content overseas, the sphere of disagreement between Chinese media and its international counterparts over what kind of stories should be told and how to tell these stories seems insurmountably vast.
Sun, W. 2010, 'Scaling Chinese Media: A Geographic Turn to Future Research', The Journal of International Communication, vol. 4, pp. 537-543.
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Trained in critical media and cultural studies, and having taught undergraduate courses in media and communication in the tertiary sector in Australia for over a decade, I have always been interested in identifying simple, effective ways of teaching analytical methods and concepts. In this process, I have found cultural theorist Richard Johnsons (1986) notion of the circuit of culture useful. His circuit features four dimensions production, texts, readings, and lived cultures all of which are articulated in relation to one another, and are subject to conditions of social relations.
Sun, W. 2010, 'Motherland Calling: China's Rise and Diasporic Responses', Cinema Journal, vol. 49, no. 3, pp. 126-130.
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In March 2009, Li Changchun, Chinas Chief of Propaganda and a senior member of the standing committee of Chinas Political Bureau, told the ABC (Australias national broadcaster) that China was concerned about the Western medias reporting of Tibetan issues, and he fi rmly requested that the ABC discuss China in a comprehensive, well-balanced, fair, and objective manner.1 Lis behavior is indicative of Chinas increasingly proactiverather than reactiveapproach to propaganda. Instead of waiting for Western media to become objective or more sympathetic to China in their coverage of sensitive issues, China is now moving its propaganda offshore. For instance, the photo exhibition, Tibet of China: Past and Present, recently traveled around the world repudiating the Wests popular representations of the Dalai Lama.
Sun, W. 2010, ''Narrating Translocality: Dagong Poetry and the Subaltern Imagination'', Mobilities, vol. 5, no. 3, pp. 291-309.
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In Chinese, 'dagong' means 'working for the boss'. Dagong migrants constitute the most populous group of China's mobile population, so knowledge of their cultural practices is crucial to understanding how globalisation and mobility rework people's sense of locality. This paper is an analysis of poems by dagong workers - a cultural phenomenon that is relatively unknown both outside and inside China. Drawing on ethnographic insights into China's rural migrants, this paper engages the concept of translocality to explore three recurring themes in dagong poetry: alienation of the body in the industrial regime; displacement and homesickness; and disenchantment with the south. The analysis shows that, for the same reason that mobility itself is a stratified process, the means of addressing translocal desires and longings are also stratified.
Sun, W. 2010, 'Sex, City, and the Maid: Between Socialist Fantasies and Neoliberal Parables', Journal of Current Chinese Affairs, vol. 39, no. 4, pp. 53-69.
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Of the many rural migrant workers who go to Chinese cities as cheap labourers, the one who interacts most intimately with urban residents is the domestic servant. In fact, precisely because of this intimate stranger status, the figure of the maid has captured the imagination of the urban population. This fascination is evidenced by the plethora of television narratives centring on the fraught relationships between the rural migrant woman and her male employer. This paper analyses a range of television narratives from the genres of dramas and documentaries. It shows that in these narratives, sex functions as the metaphor of social inequality between two social groups. It shows that if we explore how love, romance and marriage are constructed, we may gain some insight into processes of social and ideological contestation in the domain of cultural production.
Sun, W. 2009, 'Communication in China: Political Economy, Conflict and Power, by Yuezhi Zhao', International Journal of Communication, vol. 2, no. 2008.
Sun, W. 2009, 'Symbolic Bodies, Mobile Signs: the Story of the Rural Maid in Urban China', Asian Studies Review, vol. 33, no. 3, pp. 275-288.
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Wang Xiaoshuai's acclaimed film, Beijing Bicycle, centres on the experiences of a young migrant man in Beijing, Guei. One day, Guei and his friend observe with desire a woman whom they assume to be an extremely wealthy city dweller. She is an attractive young woman who is seen languishing on her apartment balcony or walking down the street, clearly aware of the gaze on her, although she exudes an air of aloofness. When Gueis fellow rural migrant worker, who has his eyes on the young woman, realises that she is in fact a rural migrant domestic worker who likes to dress up in her employers clothes when left alone in the house, he blurts out, ``If I had known that she was one of us, I would have . . . His monologue is deliberately cut short and audiences are left to guess what he would have done if he had known the true identity of the object of his desire. The maids fantasy about becoming a fashionable city resident ends up as a nightmare, as, towards the end of the film, she is caught trying to steal clothes from her employer and run away. The maid is able to ``deceive her rural and city spectators for a long time, mainly because she does not look fundamentally different from others around her. With efficient camouflage of her rurality speaking little, hence revealing no accent; dressing fashionably; and looking aloof she manages to pass for an urban young woman consumer. This characters masquerade illustrates some of the issues that will be explored in this article. The difference between this woman and more privileged urban women is not primarily a matter of racialised or ethnicised difference, but rather hinges on differences of dress, bodily deportment, speech, manners and etiquette.
Sun, W. 2009, 'Making Space for the Maid: Metropolitan gaze, peripheral vision and subaltern spectatorship in urban China', Feminist Media Studies, vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 57-72.
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Sun, W. 2009, 'Suzhi on the Move: Body, Place and Power', Positions: East Asia cultures critique, vol. 17, no. 3, pp. 617-642.
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During three months of fieldwork in Beijing in 2005, I rented an apartment in an eighteen-story residential compound (xiaoqu). On my first day, while waiting for the lift, I overheard two residents chatting. From what they were saying, I gathered that one of them was an information technology (IT) consultant. So while we traveled in the lift together, I asked him if he knew what I would need to do to access a local dial-up service. He gave me some advice, and I thanked him for doing so. But just before he stepped out of the lift, he turned and suddenly asked me, Where do you come from? Not wanting to hold up the lift for too long I gave him a short but true answer: I said I came from Anhui. He looked puzzled, Are you for real? Yes, of course. Why do you ask? I replied. Well, I didnt think an Anhui person would need to know anything about Internet dial-up!
Sun, W. 2008, ''Just Looking': Domestic workers' consumption practice and a latent geography of Beijing', Gender, Place and Culture, vol. 15, no. 5, pp. 475-488.
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The post-socialist Chinese city has been an important site to explore the formation of modernity in its everyday shape and manifestations. A common way of understanding urban experiences is through the prism of consumption. Rural migrants in the city cannot compare with urban residents in terms of their consumption level, but they are seen to be equally enthusiastic in partaking in consumption, and their identities are also believed to be (re)shaped by consumption practices. Drawing on several years' extensive ethnographic research in Beijing, this article suggests that these scenarios cannot adequately account for the diversity and complexity of rural migrants' experience in the consuming city. In this article, I put forward a methodological argument for considering the lived spatiality of ethnographic subjects in conceiving and considering consumption. Then, through an investigation of how migrant domestic workers use urban spaces, I consider the 'dialectic of freedom and constraint' which marks their agency and their individual choices and decisions. Finally, I explore the social production of space by considering migrant domestic workers' 'subversive' behaviours within rather than in opposition to the capitalist commercial logic and space. This discussion demonstrates that consumption practices are at the same time spatial practices, and despite the many obstacles and constraints, migrant domestic workers are actively availing themselves of the opportunities that the city has to offer. This creative process is crucial if we are to gain a new and more nuanced understanding of consumption as a social practice. I further argue that it is also a process by which rural migrants hold on to their sense of dignity and self-respect in an environment of exclusion and discrimination.
Sun, W. 2008, 'Sexuality, Domesticity, and Citizenship in the Chinese Media: Man's Needs, Maid's Rights', China Information, vol. 22, no. 2, pp. 221-224.
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The widespread phenomenon of outsourcing domestic work has profoundly altered the household life styles of urban families and reworked the division of labor at home. However, the extent to which urban consumers depend on the labor and service provided by the rural migrant women is by no means indicative of the degree of "harmony" and civility between the two groups. While the Chinese news media, with its urban and middle-class clientele base, see little chance of selling pictures or headlines featuring the everyday struggles of disenfranchised social groups such as rural migrant women who are employed as domestic workers, they have exercised unprecedented freedom in publishing stories about criminality and sexuality. With the figure of the maid becoming increasingly ubiquitous in urban households, urban consumers of paid domestic work also get a regular dose of "maid stories" in their everyday media consumption. Combining ethnography with detailed media analyses, this article examines the range of gendered positions and modes of sexual subjectivity which have been articulated in these stories. It shows that in a number ways the emergence of a new sexual sensibility for urban, middle-class men is contingent on the exclusion of subject positions for, and the derogation of, the "other" womanthe "intimate stranger" at home.
Sun, W. 2008, 'Made in China: women factory workers in a global workplace, by Pun Ngai', Society and Space, vol. 26, no. 1.
Sun, W. 2008, 'Brand New China: Advertising, Media and Commercial Culture, by Jing Wang', Asian Studies Review, vol. 32, no. 4.
Sun, W. 2007, 'Dancing with Chains: Significant Moments on China Central Television', International Journal of Cultural Studies, vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 187-204.
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More than a decade after television became the medium of mass consumption in the West, Raymond Williams published Television: Technology and Cultural Form in 1974. Raymond Williams is interested in television not as the outcome of an isolated aesthetic adventure or technological triumph, but as the manifestation of a profoundly social process. Television arrived in China initially as both metonym and metaphor for the state's socialist modernity, but has now also become a symptom of the triumph of global capitalism. In what way can Williams' insights on television technology and social change be revisited and made meaningful to the socio-economic specificity of China in the reform era? By looking at some significant moments on China Central Television (CCTV) in the era of economic reforms since the 1980s, this article offers an account of the ways in which television as a form of technology plays a crucial role in the various junctures of China's social formations. In doing so, I seek to unravel the tension and dynamism between the creative and innovative impulse of television technology as an industry, the desire of the Chinese state for hegemonic control, and the naked ambition of the global economy ushered in by the Chinese state
Sun, W. 2005, 'Media and the Chinese Diaspora: Community, Consumption and Transnational Imagination', Journal of Chinese Overseas, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 65-86.
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This paper 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 the paper 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.
Sun, W. 2002, 'The Invisible Entrepreneur: The Case of Anhui Women', Provincial China, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 178-195.
Sun, W. 2001, 'A Tale of Two Chinese Villages: Television, Women and Modernity', Asian Journal of Communication, vol. Special, no. Special.
Sun, W. 2001, 'Media Events or Media Stories? Time, Space and Chinese (Trans)nationalism', International Journal of Cultural Studies, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 25-43.
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Taking Dayan and Katzs argument of media event as the point of departure, I want to not only assess the relevance of media event theory to a non liberal-democratic media system such as China but, more importantly, to argue that `media events need to be studied in juxtaposition to what I refer to as `media stories in order to yield insight into the complexity and ambiguity of the Chinese mediasphere. I show that whereas media events are about spectacles, official time and grand history, media stories are mostly about everyday life, unofficial time and individual memory. I argue that the co-existence of conflicting temporalities between the official media and commercial media contributes to a process of fragmentation and dispersal of a sense of national space and time. I further argue that although media events and media stories perform different spatial-temporal duties and functions in the way in which the nation is imagined, there is a complicity between nationalist discourses and transnational processes in contemporary China.
Sun, W. & Donald, S.J. 2001, 'Going Home: History, Nation, and the Mournful Landscapes of Home - China in the Silk Screen Season', Metro, vol. 129.
Sun, W. 2001, 'To Go Or Not To Go to America: Cinema and The Desiring City', Hybridity: Journal of Cultures, Texts and Identities, vol. Special.
Sun, W. 2001, 'A Chinese in the New World: Television Dramas, Global Cities, and Travels to Modernity', Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 81-94.
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In Pursuit of Melbourne (Zuei Zhu Mo Er Ben) is a multiple-episode television drama produced jointly by China Central Television (CCTV) and Xiamen Television in southern China. When it was shown nationally early in 1999, it was watched with intense interest by my parents, my brother and my sister-in-law living in Anhui Province. Anticipating my visit from Australia later that year, they had taped the show in case I was interested. On arriving home, I was initially reluctant to embark on a viewing marathon, considering I had only one week in China. However, once I started, I realized I could not really stop. I spent most of that week sitting in front of the television set with my family, obsessively watching a local production about the life of a group of Chinese now living in Australia.
Sun, W. 2000, 'Internet, Memory and the Chinese Diaspora: The Case of the Nanjing Massacre Websites', New Formations, vol. 40.
Sun, W. 1998, 'Love Your Country in Your Own Way: Chinese Nationalism, Media and Public Culture', Social Semiotics, vol. 8, no. 2.
Sun, W. 1998, 'Diaspora On-line and Postnational Chineseness', Asia Pacific MediaEducator, vol. 5.
Sun, W. 1998, 'Monster Houses, Yacht Immigrants, and the Vancouver Sun: Media and Chinese Ethnicity from a Canadian Perspective', Australian Canadian Studies, vol. 15, no. 2.
Sun, W. 1998, 'Love your country in your own way: Chinese media, nationalism and offical culture', Social Semiotics, vol. 8, no. 2-3, pp. 297-308.
Although patriotism has always been a basic tenet of China's state ideology, the Chinese Communist Party is no longer the sole guardian of national identity in the 1990s. With the diversification and pluralisation of Chinese media in the age of commercialisation, nationalism is functioning as a form of consensus beyond the bounds of official culture. This paper is a close-up analysis of the deployment of an array of discursive forms and strategies for nationalistic purposes in the Chinese media in the 1990s. It shows that the content of nationalism has become increasingly fluid. Moreover, the circulation of nationalist sentiments has become a two-way traffic, between the central and regional China, the state and the individual The paper argues that such changes are the result of the decentralisation in social, economic and cultural spheres within China and increasing globalisation of the Chinese community. © 1998 Carfax Publishing Ltd.
Sun, W. 1997, 'From Metaphor to Irony: Orient(alis)ing the Self in Australian News of the Other', The UTS Review, vol. 3, no. 2.
Sun, W. 1996, 'In Search of New Frameworks: Issues in the Study of Chinese Media in the Era of Reform', Media International Australia, vol. 79, pp. 40-48.
Sun, W. 1995, 'People's Daily, China and Japan: A Narrative Analysis', Gazette: The International Journal for Mass Communication Studies, vol. 54, no. 3, pp. 195-207.
This article is a narrative analysis of the People's Daily's coverage of Sino-Japanese relationship since 1978. The point of departure for this article is that propaganda in China can be better understood in the context of Chinese foreign policies news. It argues that criticism of Chinese media needs to avoid a reductionist approach of quantitative content analysis. Studying propaganda as narrative forms and strategies rather than as bias and distortions allows us to delve deeper into the processes by which events are transformed into politically potent symbols.

Non traditional outputs

Sun, W. 2015, 'Catch up on the Forum Discussion featuring "If You Are The One" host Meng Fei', University of Western Sydney.
Sun, W. 2010, 'Karate Kid and China's Soft Power'.
This is an interview with Jason de Russo reviewing the film Karate Kid


Narayan, Jakubowicz, A., Bebawi, S., Middleweek, ghosh, D., sun, W., khamis, S. & vatsikopoulos, H., 'Shock horror: the big end of town has finally discovered Australia's media is a whitewash'.


Sun, W. 2016, Chinese-language Media in Australia: Developments, Challenges and Opportunities.
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Sun, W. 2016, Beyond the war of words: how might the Australian media's coverage of China affect social cohesion?.
Sun, W. 2016, Australian media deals with China - blind spots, or troubling hypocrisy?.
Sun, W. 2014, If You Are the One: Dating shows, reality TV, and the politics of the personal in urban China.
Sun, W. 2011, Different media: Why universities should learn from international students.