This project is an individual grant hosted at Curtin University, and is funded by the Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) (Australia), 2019–2023 (DE190100789). It is also supplemented and extended with support and funding by Curtin University, 2019–2025. Ethics Office approval number HRE2019-0806.
The project aims to evaluate how social media Influencers can become conduits to communicate information among young people between Australia and East Asia. As icons on the internet who are experts in holding attention and amplifying content, Influencers have expanded from being mere commercial enterprises to being conduits of public service information by reaching wide, diverse, and sometimes marginalized youth audiences with important socio-cultural messages. This study will glean lessons from leading Influencer ecologies in East Asia (China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan), to understand how we can use internet-native communication formats to improve inter-cultural knowledge and relations in Australia. In light of COVID-19 contingencies and changing opportunities for research, the digital components of fieldwork have expanded to include the larger Asia Pacific region.
This study will offer a framework for examining the Influencer industry in Australia based on expert economies in East Asia. Its analysis of young people’s internet cultures will generate new knowledge on how information circulates and is received in innovative communication formats between young Australians and young East Asians. It informs how young people in Australia can improve their inter-cultural communication skills, how community groups can improve inter-cultural integration, and how businesses and policy makers can partner with Influencers to amplify information. Project outputs from 2019 are categorized into five streams below.
(1) Conduits of knowledge & cultures
- [updates in progress]
- Editorial: The popularity of the Korean oegugin (foreign) influencer is on the rise. But there is a dark side to this pop-nationalism
- Journal article: From ‘networked publics’ to ‘refracted publics’: A companion framework for researching ‘below the radar’ studies
- Book chapter: Online Ajumma: Self-presentations of contemporary elderly women via digital media in Korea
- Podcast: The future of Internet Fame
- Book chapter: Hanging out at home as a lifestyle: YouTube home tour vlogs in East Asia
(2) Social justice, antagonisms, and cancel culture
- [updates in progress]
- Report: Social Justice Through Social Media Pop Cultures: Case Studies And Reading Resources On Influencers And TikTok
- Radio: When Influencers fight – with Crystal Abidin
- Podcast: Shaming Influencers: Should We Cancel ‘Cancel Culture’?
(3) Regulation, governance, and best practice
- [updates in progress]
- Journal article: Oegugin Influencers and pop nationalism through government campaigns: Regulating foreign-nationals in the South Korean YouTube ecology
- Journal article: Racial harmony and sexual violence: Uneven regulation and legal protection gaps for influencers in Singapore
(4) COVID-19 and the Influencer industry
- Journal article: Subtle Asian Traits and COVID-19: Congregating and Commiserating as East Asians in a Facebook Group
- Conference talk: Subtle Asian Traits: Platformed race on Facebook
- News: Asians suffering pandemic racism find solace in Facebook meme and humour group Subtle Asian Traits
- Journal article: Feeling Asian Together: Coping with #COVIDRacism on Subtle Asian Traits
- Journal article: Singaporean Influencers and COVID-19 on Instagram Stories
- Editorial: TikTok and Short-Form Screendance Before and After Covid
- Radio: Indigenous creators ready to help with COVID messaging
- Journal article: Influencers, Brands, and Pivots in the Time of COVID-19: A Look at Australian, Japanese, and Korean Issues
- Journal article: Influencers and COVID-19: Reviewing key issues in press coverage across Australia, China, Japan, and South Korea
- Press release: “Apa kabar industri influencer marketing di tengah pandemi COVID-19 (News about the influencer marketing industry amidst the COVID-19 pandemic)
- White paper: The New Normal: How COVID-19 has changed the fundamentals of influencer marketing in Southeast Asia
- Talk: Singaporean influencers and COVID-19 on Instagram Stories
- Industry guide: Will culture change post COVID-19?
- Playbook: Messaging COVID-19
- Editorial: Slow living and the art of home maintenance: East Asian vloggers celebrate the domestic space
- Blogpost: Influencer and Social Media Industries Adapting to COVID-19
- Interview: Influencers and Covid-19 – with Dr. Crystal Abidin
- Blogpost: Hanging Out At Home As A Lifestyle (in the time of COVID-19)
- News: ‘Stop Eating Bats’: Asian-Australia Instagrammers Are Facing Racist Abuse During The Pandemic
(5) Family influencers, child influencers, and viral kids online
- Roundtable: Spotlight forum: social media, child influencers and keeping your kids safe online
- Radio: What viral ‘corn kid’ says about the child influencer industry
- Editorial: It’s corn! How the online viral ‘Corn Kid’ is on a well-worn path to fame in the child influencer industry
- News: TikTok Kids Are Being Exploited Online, but Change Is Coming
- News: TikTok Parents Are Taking Advantage of Their Kids. It Needs to Stop
- Policy: Inquiry: Influencer Culture
- Documentary: Instagram Utopia?
- News: These Byron Bay mums share their children’s lives on Instagram. Here’s why
- Documentary: What Happened To Them After Going Viral Online?
- Documentary: The Ugly Realities Behind Cute Viral Videos
- Book chapter: Preschool stars on YouTube: Child microcelebrities, Commercially viable biographies, and Interactions with technology
- News: Ever younger ‘kidfluencers’ face online dangers
- News: Should we let children be influencers?
- News: How Minecraft YouTubers made me a better parent during the pandemic
- News: La famille D’Amelio court après la célébrité des Kardashian
- News: Child Influencing is work, but it’s not automatically dangerous
- News: Motherhood Through The Looking ‘Gram
- Documentary: Child influencers are big business in Russia
- News: China’s ‘Mini-Me’ Culture is Perfect for Luxury Brands
- News: Babies are now the new stars of Instagram, but at what cost?
- News: Des enfants mitraillés de photos sur des comptes Instagram sponsorisés, les voilà réduits à l’état d’accessoires
- News: 父母在Instagram上“打造”孩子，已经成了一门生意
- News: Dans la vraie vie des enfants stars d’Instagram
- News: How Parents of Child Influencers Package Their Kids’ Lives for Instagram
- News: Family Influencers: The ACE Family
(6) K-pop fandoms, social media strategy, and activism
- Book chapter: Ella Gross and child social media stars: Rising to fame through K-pop idol trainee systems, mixed raceness, and tabloid cycle controversies
- News: K-pop fan groups may spread misinformation, like some other online communities – especially in defence of their favourite idols
- News: 사회정의 구현하는 ‘케이팝 팬덤’
- Plenary: Kpop: Fandom, Politics, Digital influence
- Editorial: The Civic Hijinks of K-pop’s Super Fans
- Blogpost: K-pop Social Media, (Anti-)fan Labour, and Networks of Misinformation
- Conference talk: K-pop on Instagram between South Korea and North America
(7) TikTok and short video app cultures
- [updates in progress]
- News: The Big Read: Watch out Facebook (and the world), as pandemic-fuelled TikTok boom unleashes the good, bad and ugly
- Syllabus: TikTok Syllabus: Teaching Socio-cultural Issues on TikTok
- Journal article: Mapping Internet Celebrity on TikTok: Exploring Attention Economies and Visibility Labours
- Talk: Influencer Cultures on TikTok
- Talk: #WAsian (White-Asian) on TikTok and Activism through Entertainment
- Talk: Knowledges on Douyin vs. TikTok: Platforms, Populism, and Performance
- Radio: Students are fighting climate change, one TikTok video at a time
- Talk: ‘Audio templates’ as Identity and Intimacy on TikTok
- Symposium: Cultures of TikTok in the Asia Pacific
- Network: TikTok Cultures Research Network
- Podcast: TikTok: The Platform, The Public, The Politics
- [updates in progress]
- A review of the history of Influencers in Australia, Australian media representations of Influencers, and the impact of social media Influencers on print media.
- A survey of the culture of Influencer agencies in East Asia, practices of Influencer communications in the Asia Pacific, and the role of East Asian Influencers in building community among East Asian migrants in Australia.
- A study of inter-cultural communication between East Asians and Australians, working towards a theory of Asia Pacific Influencers, inter-cultural learning, and the generation of attention on the internet.
- Book on East Asian YouTubers:
–Slow living at home as a lifestyle
–Morning/night routines and domestic temporalities
–Home cafes and ASMR aesthetics
–Minimalism and consumption-based mindfulness
–Homemaking and the commodification of coupledom
–Zakka and performances of taste curation
–Rurality and telescopic exoticism
–COVID-19 and repackaging trendability
–Intercultural language learning and humour
–Home remaking and youth anomie
–Elderly influencers and geriatric cuteness
–Childrearing on cam and broadcast ethos
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This page is in progress. // This page was last updated on 26 October 2022.