Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2019, Vol. 74 ›› Issue (8): 1650-1662.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201908012

• Culture and Tourism Geography • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The spatial imagination of Guangzhou's African community: Analysis based on newspaper discourses

AN Ning1,2,FENG Qiuyi3,ZHU Hong1,2   

  1. 1. Centre for Human Geography and Urban Development, School of Geographical Sciences, Guangzhou University, Guangzhou 510006, China
    2. Guangdong Provincial Research Institution of Urban and Migration Studies, Guangzhou 510006, China
    3. School of Geographical Sciences, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, China
  • Received:2018-09-05 Revised:2019-02-14 Online:2019-08-25 Published:2019-08-07
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(41701149);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41871127);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41630635)


Using the methods of textual analysis and in-depth interview, this paper investigates the discourse representation of Guangzhou-African populations and Guangzhou-African communities in Guangzhou newspaper in the past decade. The study finds that the early Guangzhou newspaper has established a clear, symbolic and stigmatized Afro-space map based on the newspaper's own requirements for news materials (e.g. the novelty) and the influence of local politics on newspaper practices. The earlier newspaper discourse has produced negative social influences and, to a certain extent, intensified the contradiction between African groups and local communities. Later, with changes in the macro-political pattern, especially in the context of building a socialist harmonious society and the China-Africa Cooperation Forum, the Guangzhou newspaper has devoted to the Guangzhou-African report to form a geographical imagination of the China-Africa Development Community and the positive image of Guangzhou-African populations and Guangzhou-African communities, with a view to reshaping the spatial meaning of Guangzhou-African communities. In view of this, we argue that the Guangzhou-African discourse in Guangzhou newspaper industry is a process of constructing the spatial image of the ethnic population and ethnic community, and thus becomes a geographical reproduction of the continuous projection, entanglement and change of local politics, national politics and international politics. In this sense, this study enriches the understanding of ethnic community demarcation, space production and geographical imagination from the perspective of socio-cultural geography and political geography, and attempts to establish a coupling geographical perspective between newspaper public opinion and geopolitics. From the practical perspective, this paper explores the challenges and influences of media discourse on the integration of cross-border culture in the context of globalization, which hence has a certain value for the integration and negotiation of Chinese and foreign multiculturalism and the realization of benign international interaction.

Key words: space production, geographical imagination, African community, discourse analysis, Guangzhou