“It's not even wrong.”

  – Wolfgang Pauli 


屏幕快照 2017-08-11 下午6.06.33.png

Research Interests

The primary focus of my research is the sociology of media. My interdisciplinary background has enabled me to investigate the information governance of the authoritarian regime in China from various perspectives. By focusing on four types of dynamics—state–media relations, media–court dynamics, media–movement dynamics, and media–public dynamics—three themes have emerged in my research.


Resilient China

First, my key interest is the evolution and transformation of the relationship between the state, the media and the courts, and their impact on the political regime. By exploring changes in journalistic behaviour and the media’s interaction with the courts, as well as investigating state control of the information environment, I have proposed a typology of state–media interaction and a typology of social justice as guiding analytical frameworks to decipher the mechanisms of “Resilient China”.


Contagious China

Second, I focus on the role of media in constructing public opinion and shaping social movements, especially student activism in mainland China and Hong Kong. Based on solid case studies from significant movements and surveys of mainland Chinese and Hong Kong students, I have developed a movements as dialogic processes framework to examine the dynamics of “Contagious China”.   


Cultural China

Third, I also investigate relations between the media and various forms of cultural consumption in China, and their impact on (re)constructing state legitimacy during the transition period. Based on stories and evidence reflecting how individuals appreciate art, their musical preferences, restaurant choices and how they imagine Tibetan culture, my research in this area paints a picture of contemporary “Cultural China”.

Research Grants

General Research Fund, Project#11608717, Principal Investigator, “Constructing social justice: The evolving media–court relation and media trials in China,” 260,264 HKD.  01/01/2018 – 30/06/2021. (On-going) 

General Research Fund, Project#11672616, Principal Investigator, “The Chinese Reputation: A Community Approach on Defamation Litigation in China,” 514,000 HKD.  01/06/2017 – 31/05/2020. (On-going)

General Research Fund, Project#11406014, Principal Investigator, “The Losing Media? An Empirical Study on the Media-related Litigation,” 566,666 HKD.  01/01/2015 – 30/06/2017. (Completed)

China’s National Social Science Fund, Project#14CSH033, Co-Investigator, “Collective Actions in the Internet Era”, 200,000 RMB.  01/07/2014 – 31/12/2017. (On-going)


List of Publications in English



Lee, F., CC, Lee., M, Yao., TK, Zhang., F, Lin. and C, Shen. (2013), Communication, Public Opinion, and Globalization in Urban China (Routledge Studies in Rhetoric and Communication). London: Routledge(Involvement: co-author, analysed the data and wrote one chapter of the book)

Book review:

Hildebrandt, Timothy (2015)  Book review: communication, public opinion, and globalization in urban China. Routledge studies in rhetoric and communication, 18 by Francis L.F. Lee, Chin-Chuan Lee, Mike Z. Yao, Tsan-Kuo Chang, Fen Jennifer Lin, and Chris Fei Shen. New York; London: Routledge, 2014. xvi, 199 pp. (figures, tables.) US$125.00, cloth. ISBN 978-0-415-71320-7. Pacific Affairs, 88 (1). pp. 174-176. ISSN 0030-851X

Rosen, Stanley (2014)  Book review: communication, public opinion, and globalization in urban China. Routledge studies in rhetoric and communication, 18 by Francis L.F. Lee, Chin-Chuan Lee, Mike Z. Yao, Tsan-Kuo Chang, Fen Jennifer Lin, and Chris Fei Shen. New York; London: Routledge, 2014. US$125.00 (hardback), 200 pp. Chinese Journal of Communication, 7 (3). pp. 348-353.



Journal Articles


Lin, F. and Y. Xie (forthcoming). Moving beyond Nimbyism? Media-Movement Dynamics in Chinese NIMBY Movements. China: An International Journal. 


Lin, F. and X. Zhang. (2018). Movement-press dynamics and news diffusion: A typology of activism in digital ChinaThe China Review. 18 (2), 33-63.


Lin, F. (2018).  Moon over the eastern hill: Constructing the Han Chinese imagination of modern TibetThe Journal of Popular Culture. 51 (3), 674-692.


Lin, F. (2017). “Digital intellectual property protection in China: Trends and damages in litigation involving the Big Five websites (2003–13)”. Asian Pacific Law Review. 25(2):149-169.


He, X. and F, Lin. (2017).  The losing media? An empirical study of defamation litigation in ChinaThe China Quarterly. 230: 371-298 


Lin, F. and M, Yao. (2017). The impact of accompanying text on visual processing and hedonic evaluation of art,  Empirical Studies of the Arts. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0276237417719637 


Lin, F., and D, Zhao. (2016). Social movements as a dialogic process: Framing, interpretation schemata and the dynamics of the anti-CNN movementChinese Sociological Review. 48(3): 185-208 


Lin, F., Y, Sun., and H, Yang. (2015). How are Chinese students ideologically divided? A survey of Chinese college students’ political self-identificationPacific Affairs, 88(1): 51-74 


Lin, F., T.K. Chang., and X. Zhang. (2015). After the spillover effect: News flows and power relations in Chinese mainstream media. Asian Journal of Communication. 25(3):235-254


Chang, T.K. and F, Lin. (2014), From propaganda to public diplomacy: Assessing China's international practice and its image, 1950-2009. Public Relations Review, 40(3), 450-458 


Lin, F. (2012). Information differentiation, commercialization and legal reform – The rise of a three-dimensional state-media regime in China.  Journalism Studies, 13(3), 418-432


Lin, F. (2010). A survey report on Chinese journalists in China. The China Quarterly, 202, 421-434. 


Lin, F. (2010). Organizational construction or individual’s deed? The literati tradition in the   journalistic professionalization in China, International Journal of Communication, 4, 1-20. 


 Lin, T., J. Zhang., D. Yarcia and F, Lin. (2008). Income inequality in the People's Republic of China and its decomposition: 1990–2004. Asian Development Review, 25, 119-136.(MIT Press Journals, Economics and Business)


Lin, F. (2006). Dancing beautifully but with hands cuffed? A historical review of journalism formation during media commercialization in China. Perspectives, 7(2): 79-98.


Salama, JK., R, Heimann., F, Lin., N, Mehta., SJ, Chmura., R, Singh., and J, Kao. (2005).  Does the number of lymph nodes examined in node negative breast cancer have prognostic significance?  Cancer, 103(4), 664-671. 


Book Chapters

Lin, T., D, Yarcia., and F, Lin. (2010). Income inequality in the People's Republic of China 1990–2005. In Poverty, Inequality, and Inclusive Growth in Asia: Measurement, Policy Issues, and Country Studies (Anthem Studies in Development and Globalization). Edited by J. Zhuang.  London: Anthem Press. 


Research Monographs/Working Papers/Consultancy Reports

Lin, T., C, Wang., Y, Chen., T, Camacho., and F, Lin. (2009). Green Benches: What can the People’s Republic of China Learn from International Experiences of Environment Courts? Asian Development Bank. 

Howard, B., P. Zhu, J. Robin, S. Raudenbush, M. Andres, & F. Lin. (2008).  Empirical issues in the design of group-randomized studies to measure the effects of interventions for children.  MDRC Working Papers on Research Methodology, 483. 

Raudenbush, S., M, Andres., B, Howard., P, Zhu., and F, Lin. (2008). An eight-step paradigm for studying the reliability of group-level measures”. William T. Grant Foundation, working report.  

Raudenbush, S., M, Andres., B, Howard., P, Zhu., and F, Lin. (2008).  The reliability of group-level measures and the power of group-randomized studies. William T. Grant Foundation, working report


Invited Book Reviews

Book Review: Jonathan Hassid, China’s Unruly Journalists: How Committed Professionals Are Changing the People’s Republic. The China Journal, (2017)

Book review: Fanxu Zeng, 媒体作为调停人:公民行动与公共协商 [Media as mediators: Citizen activism and public deliberation] Communication and the Public 2(1): 107-108



List of Publications in Languages other than English



林芬《中国媒体转型:国家,市场与技术的角逐》(北京:人民大学出版社)(Lin, F. (Forthcoming). Transition of Chinese Media: The Seesaw Battle among the State, Market and Technology. Beijing: Renmin University Press )


Journal Articles

林芬(2018)<權力與信息悖論:研究中國媒體的國家視角>,《傳播與社會學刊》。(Lin, F.  (forthcoming). “Power and Information Paradox: A State Perspective on Studying Chinese Media". Communication & Society. 45, 19-46.


林芬,林斯嫻 (2017)<香港青年的中國觀:民族認同與學生運動>,《二十一世紀》,第164期。(Lin, F. and S, Lin (2017). “Being Chinese in Flux: National Identity and Student Movements in Hong Kong. Twenty-First Century. 164, 66-86.


谢颖,林芬 (2016)<抗争性政治中的群体差异与资源借用: 中产抗争与农民抗争的个案比较>, 《社会学评论》,第四期:34-48. (Xie, Y. and F, Lin. (2016).  “Weapons of the Middle Class: A Comparative Study of Collective Action in China”. Sociological Review of China.4(1):34-48) 


林芬, 王鑫 (2016)<浅谈英文学术写作技巧:把作者的问题变成读者的问题>,《新闻记者》第12期(Lin, F. and X, Wang (2016). On English Academic Writing Skills: Turning Authors’ Questions into Readers’ Questions. The Journalist Monthly. 12)


林芬赵鼎新 (2008)<霸權文化缺失下的中國新聞和社會運動>, 《傳播與社會學刊》6,93-119. (Lin, F. and D, Zhao. (2008). Lack of hegemony: dynamics between news media and social movement in China. Communication & Society, 6, 93-119.