(Self-)Representation of Migrant Workers in Chinese Smaller-Screen Visual Practices: From DV-made Documentaries to Short Videos

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2023

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This thesis examines the representation of migrant workers in smaller-screen visual practices within the Chinese mediascape, using DV-made documentaries and short videos as case studies. By conducting a content analysis on the documentary Jianghu: Life on the Road and a series of rented room short videos on Douyin, I argue that the agency of migrant workers as subalterns in these visual practices is ambiguous and that digital technology can create complex power dynamics that do not necessarily lead to the empowerment of the subaltern. Furthermore, the thesis analyzes the content of the short videos to explore their homogeneity, the sense of hope conveyed through positive energy and the affective spectatorship they generate. Through these analyses, the thesis aims to contribute to discussions on the representation and agency of migrant workers in the Chinese mediascape and to offer insights into the complex power dynamics at play in smaller-screen visual practices.

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Ding, Suchen (2023). (Self-)Representation of Migrant Workers in Chinese Smaller-Screen Visual Practices: From DV-made Documentaries to Short Videos. Master's thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/27830.

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