Citizens' Attitudes towards Globalization: A Survey Study of Media Influence

Francis L. F. Lee This article examines media effects on Mainland Chinese and Hong Kong people's attitudes towards globalization. In the case of China, it is argued that the Chinese national media largely reflect the official view on globalization, which is largely positive in tone, focuses more on its benefits than its dangers, and sees engaging with globalization as a means to realize the century-old dream of Chinese modernization. It is also argued that these views should largely resonate with the existing views of the Chinese audience, and this should provide the condition for the media to successfully influence/reinforce people's attitudes. The Hong Kong media, however, do not carry one-sidedly pro- or anti-globalization messages, thus there may not be straightforward media effects on attitudes towards globalization. Survey analysis shows that both Mainland Chinese and Hong Kong people do generally believe in the benefits for China to engage with globalization. In the case of China, positive views are more strongly held among the more educated and more nationalistic people, and among heavy consumers of national media.