Citizen Media, Activism, & Social Change
A part of my work revolves around how people use media to engage in activism and promote social change in a bottom-up manner. Increasingly, what scholars call "citizen media" or "alternative media" play a prominent role in people's everyday media diet, particularly during social movements.
I took the pictured on this page during the 2014 Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong. The police were arresting student activists who occupied the government headquarters, and people blocked outside were trying to stop the arrest. I was a student journalist reporting the movement at the time.
The movement then escalated into a broad political coalition that branded itself as localism. My master's thesis looked into the emergence of an alternative media niche around the localist movement. I later published two articles based on this work. One offers an ecological analysis of the political economy and culture around localist media, and the other dives into the discourse of local identity as constructed by the localist groups.
My research focus then shifted to LGBTQ+ movements in Asian and Chinese contexts. I wrote about how queer youth activists in Mainland China transformed stringent censorship into a repertoire of civic resistance. I conducted a framing analysis of the Taiwanese marriage equality movement and its countermovement, parsing out how opposing advocacy groups associated same-sex marriage and LGBTQ+ rights with national identity, democracy, and the human right to love.