Understanding Media and Migration

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  • Title: Understanding Media and Migration: Frontier Construction Project in Xinjiang during the 1950s
  • Author(s): Fan Yang
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Interdisciplinary Social Sciences
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social and Community Studies
  • Keywords: Migration, Media Representation, Xinjiang, Historical Internal Migration
  • Volume: 13
  • Issue: 1
  • Year: 2018
  • ISSN: 2324-7576 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2324-7584 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2324-7576/CGP/v13i01/25-34
  • Citation: Yang, Fan. 2018. "Understanding Media and Migration: Frontier Construction Project in Xinjiang during the 1950s." The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social and Community Studies 13 (1): 25-34. doi:10.18848/2324-7576/CGP/v13i01/25-34.
  • Extent: 10 pages

Abstract

Most media research demonstrates that migrants are depicted as a “social problem” in recent decades, in both global and Chinese contexts. Based on that, this article seeks to investigate the 1950s-era internal migration project in Xinjiang, during which period Han people from the interior and eastern parts of China were relocated to frontier regions, such as Xinjiang, Tibet, Inner Mongolia, the Northeastern part of China, and Yunan province. It argues that conventional understanding of immigration is reified through stereotyped and stigmatizing media representations both in the global and Chinese contexts. However, China’s historical national projects and the relocation of Han people to the borderlands in the 1950s exhibit another facet of human migration, which is different from both contemporary international mobility and Chinese rural-to-urban migration. Therefore, this finding suggests that more research should be done to fill the following gaps: 1) the visualization of migrant figures should be further underscored by researchers; 2) socially advantageous migrants merit more attention from both media reportage and academia; and 3) the investigation of historical migration and its impact is needed.