Staying Tuned for Censored Information Sources? A Media Habit Approach to Immigrants’ Information Practices

Abby Youran Qin


Why do immigrants opt for censored information sources even in the presence of various alternatives? Adopting Bourdieu’s concepts of habitus and field, this study bridges literature on media habit, censorship, and acculturation to explain the continued use of censored sources among mainland Chinese students (MCSs) in Hong Kong. Drawing from media diaries and semistructured interviews of 17 MCSs, I demonstrate how MCSs’ information practices and political attitudes are influenced by behavioral and algorithmic cues, online and offline networks, information ecosystems in Hong Kong and mainland China, as well as their own cultural-political identities. I further propose a generalized research approach to immigrants’ media habits that connects intrapersonal deliberation, microlevel contextual cues, mesolevel social networks, and macrolevel structures.


habitus, field, media habit, censorship, acculturation, selective exposure, China, Hong Kong

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