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postgraduate thesis: Suicide and the media in the Chinese contexts

TitleSuicide and the media in the Chinese contexts
Authors
Advisors
Advisor(s):Yip, PSF
Issue Date2012
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Cheng, Q. [程绮瑾]. (2012). Suicide and the media in the Chinese contexts. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b4961760
AbstractThe suicide and the media research field are generally concerned with the effect, content, and production of mass-disseminating suicide information. Most of the previous studies in the field were conducted in western countries. This dissertation is devoted to extending the research map to the Chinese contexts and moving the field forward into the new media era. It proposes a conceptual framework based on the social construction of reality theory and refines the framework through a combination of five studies. Study 1 might be the first investigation on mass-disseminating suicide information’s effect on suicide occurrences in Mainland China, using the Foxconn suicides as a case study. It finds that the Foxconn suicides were temporally clustered and influenced by inter-person contagion within the company, as well as the newspapers’ reporting about the topic in Beijing, the nation’s capital. Study2 examines the prominence and representation patterns of reporting the Foxconn suicides in Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan in 2010 calendar year. It demonstrates that the media coverage of the Foxconn suicides in the three societies generally experienced a three-phase evolving process in 2010. Meanwhile, within every phase, the media in different societies showed differences in their representations. Furthermore, the study investigates how the representation can be influenced by news sources and social contexts and explores possible explanations why the Beijing media’s reporting influenced the occurrences of the Foxconn suicides. Study3 compares representation of suicides in case-control psychological autopsy studies with representation of the same suicides in Hong Kong media. Considering the psychological autopsy as relatively more rigorous and validated, the comparison examines the suicide news representation’s accuracy and stereotyping tendencies. It finds a strong homogenisation of the Hong Kong newspapers in accurately reporting suicide methods but inaccurately reporting suicide risk factors, and that their reporting was problematic in stereotyping of gender-and method-specific suicides. Study 4 is a qualitative study of 33newspaper journalists’ experiences with producing suicide news from representative daily newspapers in Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Utilising the grounded theory method, it extracts how the journalists construct media reality of suicide within a social context. The study summarises criteria of suicide news values, identifies three types of key agents which are often engaged by the journalists in constructing suicide news, and also generates a comparative framework of suicide news production in the Chinese contexts. Study 5 examines what suicide-related information is easily accessible online in Mainland China and Hong Kong and compares it with its counterparts in English. It explores how the comparative framework proposed by Study 4 can also be applied to understand the nature of the online suicide information and serves as a bridge connecting the thesis with future studies on suicide and the new media. The five studies collectively contribute to understanding the nature and mechanism of constructing media reality of suicide in the Chinese contexts. By applying the research findings, suicide prevention professionals would be able to develop context-sensitive strategies to cooperate with the media and prevent suicide.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectSuicide - China - Press coverage.
Suicide - China - Hong Kong - Press coverage.
Suicide - China - Taiwan - Press coverage.
Mass media - China - Influence.
Mass media - China - Hong Kong - Influence.
Mass media - Taiwan - Influence.
Dept/ProgramSocial Work and Social Administration
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/180940

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.advisorYip, PSF-
dc.contributor.authorCheng, Qijin.-
dc.contributor.author程绮瑾.-
dc.date.accessioned2013-02-07T06:21:01Z-
dc.date.available2013-02-07T06:21:01Z-
dc.date.issued2012-
dc.identifier.citationCheng, Q. [程绮瑾]. (2012). Suicide and the media in the Chinese contexts. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b4961760-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/180940-
dc.description.abstractThe suicide and the media research field are generally concerned with the effect, content, and production of mass-disseminating suicide information. Most of the previous studies in the field were conducted in western countries. This dissertation is devoted to extending the research map to the Chinese contexts and moving the field forward into the new media era. It proposes a conceptual framework based on the social construction of reality theory and refines the framework through a combination of five studies. Study 1 might be the first investigation on mass-disseminating suicide information’s effect on suicide occurrences in Mainland China, using the Foxconn suicides as a case study. It finds that the Foxconn suicides were temporally clustered and influenced by inter-person contagion within the company, as well as the newspapers’ reporting about the topic in Beijing, the nation’s capital. Study2 examines the prominence and representation patterns of reporting the Foxconn suicides in Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan in 2010 calendar year. It demonstrates that the media coverage of the Foxconn suicides in the three societies generally experienced a three-phase evolving process in 2010. Meanwhile, within every phase, the media in different societies showed differences in their representations. Furthermore, the study investigates how the representation can be influenced by news sources and social contexts and explores possible explanations why the Beijing media’s reporting influenced the occurrences of the Foxconn suicides. Study3 compares representation of suicides in case-control psychological autopsy studies with representation of the same suicides in Hong Kong media. Considering the psychological autopsy as relatively more rigorous and validated, the comparison examines the suicide news representation’s accuracy and stereotyping tendencies. It finds a strong homogenisation of the Hong Kong newspapers in accurately reporting suicide methods but inaccurately reporting suicide risk factors, and that their reporting was problematic in stereotyping of gender-and method-specific suicides. Study 4 is a qualitative study of 33newspaper journalists’ experiences with producing suicide news from representative daily newspapers in Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Utilising the grounded theory method, it extracts how the journalists construct media reality of suicide within a social context. The study summarises criteria of suicide news values, identifies three types of key agents which are often engaged by the journalists in constructing suicide news, and also generates a comparative framework of suicide news production in the Chinese contexts. Study 5 examines what suicide-related information is easily accessible online in Mainland China and Hong Kong and compares it with its counterparts in English. It explores how the comparative framework proposed by Study 4 can also be applied to understand the nature of the online suicide information and serves as a bridge connecting the thesis with future studies on suicide and the new media. The five studies collectively contribute to understanding the nature and mechanism of constructing media reality of suicide in the Chinese contexts. By applying the research findings, suicide prevention professionals would be able to develop context-sensitive strategies to cooperate with the media and prevent suicide.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.source.urihttp://hub.hku.hk/bib/B49617606-
dc.subject.lcshSuicide - China - Press coverage.-
dc.subject.lcshSuicide - China - Hong Kong - Press coverage.-
dc.subject.lcshSuicide - China - Taiwan - Press coverage.-
dc.subject.lcshMass media - China - Influence.-
dc.subject.lcshMass media - China - Hong Kong - Influence.-
dc.subject.lcshMass media - Taiwan - Influence.-
dc.titleSuicide and the media in the Chinese contexts-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb4961760-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineSocial Work and Social Administration-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b4961760-
dc.date.hkucongregation2013-

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