Graduate Student Work (Sociology)

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Journal Article

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Publication Source

American Journal of Cultural Sociology





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Few studies have explored the relationship between globalization and emotional expression. One prominent means through which physical forms of emotional display circulate globally is through the mass media, and specifically through the reality television format trade. Whether local people can successfully perform globally circulating forms of emotional display depends, in part, on how local audiences receive their performances. Globally circulating forms might convey meanings that conflict with local public values or media regulators’ ideologies. Audience approval is facilitated through textual framing strategies that reflect producers’ directorial and editorial choices. I describe three strategies that frame emotional displays in ways that align their meanings with local ideologies and cultural values: (1) define what caused the feelings that led to the emotional display as culturally appropriate, (2) portray the emotional display as not reflecting the performers’ true feelings, and (3) ensure that the performers’ feelings are resolved within the show’s narrative in an appropriate manner. Framing strategies are mechanisms through which global formats and local culture jointly shape mass mediated emotional performances.

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This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published inthe American Journal of Cultural Sociology. The definitive publisher-authenticated version is available online at:


globalization, emotions, mass media, reality television, China, hybridity


Date Posted: 19 May 2016

This document has been peer reviewed.