Exploring Cultural Meaning Construction in Social Media: An Analysis of Liziqi's YouTube Channel

Jingfang Li (1), Hamedi Mohd Adnan (2), Jiankun Gong (3)
(1) Department of Media and Communication Studies, Universiti Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Malaysia,
(2) Department of Media and Communication Studies, Universiti Malaya, Malaysia, Malaysia,
(3) Department of Media and Communication Studies, Universiti Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, China


Hall's encoding/decoding model has been widely used in mass media, but its potential in social media studies has not been explored thoroughly. To this end, this paper aims to broaden the fundamental principles and assumptions of the model and apply them to audience engagement and interaction in constructing cultural meaning through social media. By analysing the YouTube channel of Liziqi (Vlogger), this study adopts a two-stage content analysis to investigate the possibility of textual coding frameworks and audience engagement processes in the construction of cultural narratives. The study reveals that Liziqi represents Chinese culture through various symbols and constructs a micro-narrative coding framework that influences audience perceptions. The audience interprets the content in proactive and diverse ways, resulting in four types of decoding: pleasuring, reflective, empathic, and questioning. This research expands Hall's encoding/decoding model by exploring the production and reception processes in a multicultural context, revealing a shared cultural framework between sender and receiver. This paper provides a tool for scholars to use new conceptual tools for encoding/decoding to explore the meaning dimensions of social media interaction.

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Jingfang Li
jingfangli83@gmail.com (Primary Contact)
Hamedi Mohd Adnan
Jiankun Gong
Author Biographies

Jingfang Li, Department of Media and Communication Studies, Universiti Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Jingfang Li is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Media and Communication Studies at Malaya Universiti. Li’s research focuses on the field of social media and intercultural communication studies.

Hamedi Mohd Adnan, Department of Media and Communication Studies, Universiti Malaya, Malaysia

Hamedi Mohd Adnan is a Professor and the Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Malaya Universiti. Hamedi’s primary area of research explores publishing, journalism, and mass media. Hamedi is an active speaker and trainer in the field of book publishing, magazine publishing, editing, scholarly writing, and professional writing.

Jiankun Gong, Department of Media and Communication Studies, Universiti Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Jiankun Gong, Ph.D. at the Department of Media and Communication Studies, University of Malaya. His research interests lie in media effect, health communication, digital journalism, discourse analysis, and well-being.

Li, J., Adnan, H. M., & Gong, J. (2023). Exploring Cultural Meaning Construction in Social Media: An Analysis of Liziqi’s YouTube Channel. Journal of Intercultural Communication, 23(4), 01–12. https://doi.org/10.36923/jicc.v23i4.237

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