Pluralising China as Method: Decolonising cultural mediations in the global South

Xiaotian Li, Ling Tung Tsang, Tommy Tse

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The changing global landscape of imperialism, colonialism, and globalisation has urged scholars to reflect on and reexamine the lingering Eurocentric epistemology in media and cultural studies, sociology, anthropology, area studies, and other disciplines. The epistemological biases which currently exist in these academic disciplines hinder the development of a bottom-up theorisation and a thorough understanding of social and cultural phenomena. Recently, scholars in and beyond the global South have become more attentive to the inadequacy of a Eurocentric model of theorisation, and the idiosyncrasies of local societies. The rise of China, and its intensified international political, economic, and cultural exchanges with other Asian, middle-Eastern, and African countries, also make it imperative to move beyond a Eurocentric view in understanding the complexity of social and cultural dynamics within China and across the global South. Responding to this double inadequacy of Eurocentrism in terms of knowledge production in and for Asia, we build on the insightful arguments made, but also address their respective conceptual limits, in the “Asia as Method” and “trans-Asia as Method” approaches. While acknowledging Mizoguchi’s (2016) conception of “China as Method” which emphasises the empowerment of sinology, we seek to further rethink and pluralise such an existing epistemological approach to the study of media and culture in China. This double special issue brings together both reflective essays and empirical articles to examine the nuanced cross-border/cross-national cultural interactions and the intersectional dynamics of class, gender, sexuality, race and ethnicity and national/local identities. It aims to rebuild the subjectivity and redefine the agency of Asia in the post-colonial and post-imperialist world order, using what we term as a “decolonial cultural perspective”, to understand the idiosyncrasies of local societies within a seemingly homogeneous Asian country. We propose China as Method as a useful approach for all humanities and social sciences researchers to critically rethink Eurocentrism and to avoid an essentialist form of Sinocentrism in the Asian context.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)433-441
Number of pages9
JournalGlobal Media and China
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • China as Method
  • cultural mediation
  • decolonisation
  • eurocenticism
  • global South

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication


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