Travelling Media Structures: Adaptation and Demarcation in China's Public SARS Discourse
The flow of communication structures across various media formats can be traced back to the printing press culture of early modern Europe, where three distinct media features appeared: disagreement, sensationalism, and self-reference. These features continue to characterize health communication in today s online media (Bogen 2011; 2013). This ... study investigates whether these media structures also characterize contemporary health communication in non-Western countries like China, which are undergoing a modernization process. By taking European structures of healthcare communication as a point of reference, I will analyze how Chinese healthcare communication differs from its European counterpart. This paper takes SARS (the first globally emerging infectious disease of the 21st century) as a case study. While the SARS discourse illustrates the existence of these communication structures in the Chinese me-dia and indicates some convergence between East and West, it is clear that these media structures have been adapted to a specifically Chinese cultural program of modernization. Moreover, I will identify non-European structures that can be explained by China s specific cultural background, and explore the processes of transfer and demarcation that occur when media structures are adapted across cultures.
Original publication in
On_culture: the open journal for the study of culture 8 (2019)