Manuscripts In Progress
Qin, Abby Youran, Xiao, F., & Dai, L. (2022). Tell China's conspiracy well: Networks and narratives of Anti-CPC YouTube influencers. Paper presented at the 108th Annual National Communication Association (NCA) Conference, New Orleans, USA.
AbstractRegarding modern conspiracy theories as reactionary responses to the rationalization of worldviews defined as the differentiation of three validity claims (propositional truth, normative rightness, and subjective truthfulness) (Habermas, 1984), we combine social network analysis and qualitative thematic analysis to illustrate the networks and narratives of anti-CCP conspiracy theorists on YouTube. We identified three segments of anti-CCP conspiratorial YouTubers based on their mutual endorsement, namely the Falun Gong circle and the “Whistle Blower Movement” (WBM) sect, alongside a loosely connected residual of political dissidents. In the network that emerged naturally from shared viewership, however, only the WBM channels were still tightly connected with each other in an exclusive way. Our thematic analysis of eight representative channels illustrates how anti-CCP conspiratorial YouTubers leap from basic facts to morally embellished informative fiction, and manufacture political efficacy through moral tales.
Rahoof, K. K. A., & Qin, Abby Youran (2022). Differentiated narratives of parallel conflicts: A comparative analysis of Indian, Chinese, and Western media discourse on Kashmir and Xinjiang. Paper presented at the 72nd Annual International Communication Association (ICA) Conference, Paris, France.
Additional Conference Presentation
Rahoof, K. K. A., & Qin, Abby Youran (2021). Differentiated narratives of parallel conflicts: A comparative analysis of Indian, Chinese, and Western media discourse on Kashmir and Xinjiang. Paper presented at the Narrating Cold Wars Conference, Hong Kong. [Watch my presentation video here!]
Comparing media discourses of Kashmir and Xinjiang through the lens of critical geopolitics, this study connects different parties’ narratives of conflict zones to a global discursive contestation against the backdrop of a ‘New Cold War’. Focusing on Western and domestic media’s coverage of Kashmir and Xinjiang, our study yields three findings. First, while both Indian and Chinese media attempted to portray normalcy and development, Western liberal media held onto their professionalism and tried to uncover the concealed conflicts and struggles. Although Western media held the same standard in reporting facts about Kashmir and Xinjiang, their interpretations were discriminatory. Our second finding shows that both Indian media and the New York Times framed the Indian government’s crackdown on Kashmir as part of the US-led Global War on Terror. While the Chinese media’s attempts to legitimize the government’s actions in Xinjiang as anti-terrorism measures were fiercely debunked by the Western media, who used the Xinjiang case to exemplify the Chinese government’s systematic oppression of minorities. Third, while Western media tended to portray human rights problems in Kashmir as sporadic and endemic, they portrayed the human rights infringement in Xinjiang as systematic and symptomatic. Indian media, though downplayed or negated human rights violations, still understood human rights in line with the Western Enlightenment tradition. Chinese media, however, challenged the Western charges by redefining human rights in favor of security and economic development. In sum, Western media held a Euro-centric perspective, regarding Kashmir as a remote area marred by wars while Xinjiang as a region captured and tortured by China. Despite some factual contentions, Indian media’s reports of Kashmir were within the hegemonic geopolitical framework laid out by Euro-Americans. Chinese media, conversely, posed a fundamental challenge to this narrative, seeking to promote an alternative geopolitical paradigm accentuating the Chinese interests and aspirations.