Weaving webs of faith: Examining internet use and religious communication among chinese protestant transmigrants

Pauline Cheong, Jessie P.H. Poon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


This paper examines the relationship between new media use and international communication that addresses religiosity and affirms users’ standpoints occupied by transmigrants that are marginalized in dominant societal structures. Drawing from focus group interviews among recent Chinese Protestant immigrants in Toronto, we argue that new media “use” is broadened by users’ cultural appropriation in situational contexts to include proxy internet access as accommodative communication given the political and legal constraints in their home country. Chinese transmigrants not only reinterpret and alter semantic associations that spiritualize the internet, they also engage in innovative strategies that involve the intertwining of offline and online communicative modes. These include deploying complementary media forms or communicating in codes that are mutually understood among participating members to facilitate intragroup networking among Chinese religious communities. Implications are discussed with regard to the importance of cultural norms and situational context in shaping mediated international communication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-207
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of International and Intercultural Communication
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2009


  • Chinese Immigrants
  • Cultural Appropriation and Resistance
  • New Media
  • Online Religious Communication
  • Transnational Networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication


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