Global to Village| Global to Village: Grounding Communication Research in Rural China ‒ Introduction

Yuezhi Zhao


At a time when the academic spotlight focuses on “China’s rising” in the metaphorical “global village,” this article draws attention to China’s real villages. It sets the context for a research agenda foregrounding the relevance of an urban–rural relationship perspective for a political economy of communication that has systematically prioritized the labor–capital relationship in the development of global capitalism. Starting with a personal biographical account and a reexamination of the place of the rural in scholarship on communication, modernization, and global capitalism, the article proceeds to foreground urban–rural relations in understanding the historical trajectory of China’s engagement with global capitalism and the role of communication and culture within such a trajectory. It then focuses on Heyang as a digitally networked, globalized, and globalizing Chinese village and introduces Global to Village: Grounding Communication Research in Rural China as both a transnational research project and a pedagogical praxis in global citizenship.


communication, rural development, urban–rural relationship, China, global capitalism

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