Manuscripts under Review
Qin, Abby Youran (2022). Staying tuned for censored information sources? A media habit approach to immigrants' information practices. Paper presented at the 108th Annual National Communication Association (NCA) Conference, New Orleans, USA. [Top Student Paper Award, Political Communication Division]
Why do people opt for censored information sources when there is a wide range of alternatives? Adopting Bourdieu’s concepts of habitus and field, this paper bridges psychological and structural factors to explain the continued use of censored sources among mainland Chinese students (MCSs) in Hong Kong. Through media diaries and semi-structured interviews of 17 MCSs, I have obtained a nuanced picture of MCSs’ information practices and disentangled the roles played by contextual cues (algorithm recommendation in particular), social networks, information ecosystems, as well as cultural and political identities in shaping MCSs’ media habits. I have further proposed a generalized research program on immigrants’ media habits connecting intrapersonal deliberation, micro-level contextual cues, meso-level social networks, and macro-level information structure and social culture. Attentive to the habitual nature of attitudes and behaviors, the proposed framework contributes to the understanding of immigrants’ resocialization in host societies. It also differentiates the immediate virtual and physical fields directly inhabited by immigrants and the secondary socio-cultural context. To balance immigrants’ information diet, one shall attend to not only the politics of press freedom and media plurality in their home and host societies, but also the micro-politics of human-machine interaction and interpersonal networks.