Dang Li (2015)

Amateur Translation and the Development of a Participatory Culture in China

A Netnographic Study of The Last Fantasy Fansubbing Goup


Read Dang’s thesis here



Abstract | Triggered by globalisation and the increasing media convergence enabled by digital communication technologies, fansubbing has become one of the most observable aspects of Chinese participatory culture, both domestically and internationally. Informed by concepts drawn from the science of complexity and drawing on social self-organisation theory (Fuchs 2002), this study adopts a systems perspective and the method of netnography (Kozinets 2010) to bring to light the dynamics of collective identity formation in The Last Fantasy (TLF) fansubbing group, one of the most influential fansubbing networks in China. In particular, this study aims to reveal how TLF’s fansubbers deploy digital technologies to facilitate their daily subtitling activities, build and maintain their relationships, and express a collective voice in relation to the specific media context in China. Findings from this study are used to evaluate the role played by amateur translation, as exemplified by fansubbing activities carried out by TLF’s fansubbers, in China’s participatory culture. It is hoped that this study will enrich our understanding of the phenomenon of amateur translation in an increasingly networked society.


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