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Diasporic Communication, Vol. 9 - 2002, No. 1

Diaspora Regime into Nation: Mediating Hybrid Nationhood in Taiwan

, pages: 65-84

Based on an empirical inquiry, this article seeks to assess the role of television in the process of national identity-formation in Taiwan. It situates both the formation and transformation of national identity in the contingent particularities of post-WWII Taiwan, where a powerful regime in exile met an indigenous majority population that gave rise to what I refer to as "the double-homeland complex." This article sets out to explore not only whether but how the inhabitants of Taiwan have appropriated the quintessentially modern sense of nationhood and to identify the role that television has played in shaping and mediating that appropriation. This thesis first examines how multiple identities, especially Chinese and Taiwanese identities, have been articulated and represented by the media since 1971; and, secondly, how different ethnic groups in Taiwan have engaged in different ways to accommodate the variety of identities against the backdrop of a changing media environment. It is Taiwan's uniqueness, in terms of the degrees of post-war media control and current media globalisation, that makes it a fascinating case study of the interplay between the local, the national and the global in the formation of national identity. In this article, the idea of "hybridity" receives close attention as a basis for evaluating the role of television in national identity-formation in Taiwan.

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