Mediated Structure of Feeling: An Ethnography on the Rural Elderly’s Emotional World in Post-reform China
Alice Wu's interests include mediated culture, emotion, gender, and family. She is particularly concerned with the mediation of emotional social life. This covers the construction and formation of everyday emotions, their relevant power dynamics and normative implications, as well as their far-reaching consequences. Broadly informed by cultural studies, sociology, and anthropology, she considers her work part of a wider endeavor of critical media scholars examining the role of mediated culture in reconfiguring contemporary structures of feeling and subjectivity.
Based on a 10-month ethnography of two rural villages in Southern China, her doctoral project examines the mediated structure of feelings among rural elderly people in the post-reform era. Radically historicized and contextualized, it examines their everyday feelings that are largely structured by media. Going beyond the observation of their tedious and austere daily life, it explores how the rural elderly feel about themselves, their role and status in the “three-generational family”, their feelings towards their family members, and what the role of the media and other socio-political forces play in structuring such processes. Approaching the formation of rural elderly people’s emotional world from several perspectives, her project aims to contribute more broadly to understanding the transformation of family life, the contemporary structures of feeling that affect Chinese people’s private lives, and the power-laden mediated modernity of China.
Supervisors: Professor Sonia Livingstone and Professor Myria Georgiou
Hao completed her BA at Huazhong University of Science and Technology and a double degree in Wuhan University. Then she finished her MPhil at the Department of Journalism and Communication, University of Chinese Academy of Social Science. Her doctoral project is supported by an LSE PhD Studentship.