The Power of the Internet in China: Citizen Activism Online (Contemporary Asia in the World)

The Power of the Internet in China: Citizen Activism Online (Contemporary Asia in the World)

Guobin Yang

Language: English

Pages: 320

ISBN: 0231144210

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Since the mid-1990s, the Internet has revolutionized popular expression in China, enabling users to organize, protest, and influence public opinion in unprecedented ways. Guobin Yang's pioneering study maps an innovative range of contentious forms and practices linked to Chinese cyberspace, delineating a nuanced and dynamic image of the Chinese Internet as an arena for creativity, community, conflict, and control. Like many other contemporary protest forms in China and the world, Yang argues, Chinese online activism derives its methods and vitality from multiple and intersecting forces, and state efforts to constrain it have only led to more creative acts of subversion. Transnationalism and the tradition of protest in China's incipient civil society provide cultural and social resources to online activism. Even Internet businesses have encouraged contentious activities, generating an unusual synergy between commerce and activism. Yang's book weaves these strands together to create a vivid story of immense social change, indicating a new era of informational politics.

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cooperate with the Internet propaganda and the emergency responses to Internet public opinion by following the contents and principles of propaganda as published everyday in Jinan Daily and by following the priorities, as determined by one’s work unit, in matters of internet public opinion during periods of extraordinary sensitivity.” See Department of Propaganda, the Municipality of Jinan [Shandong Province], “Shiwei xuanchuanbu yanjiu bushu quanshi tufa shijian hulianwang yuqing he xinwen

traditional dramatic repertoire and new cultural forms borrowed from Western traditions.14 The street theater of 1989 was alive with contentious performances, including chanting slogans, singing songs, hoisting banners and signs, making public speeches, issuing open petitions, and distributing leaflets and big-character posters. In examining early twentieth-century student protests, Esherick and Wasserstrom showed that foreign models were a natural source for at least part of the repertoire of

broad categories: (1) business associations, (2) environment, (3) women, (4) social services, health, and community development, and (5) others (for example, religious and cultural organizations). Reflecting the broad trend in the development of civic associations, the largest category is business associations, numbering fifty-six out of 129. These are primarily trade associations and chambers of commerce. Also reflecting a new trend since the 1990s, the sample has sixteen environmental

1970s. Although Williams retains a degree of ambivalence about television culture, he celebrates the creativity of the common people in his study of popular television forms. This is directly relevant for studies of Internet culture today. Outside the fledgling field of Internet studies, there is thriving new historical scholarship on the development of the print media in late nineteenth-and early twentieth-century China. Some scholars stress human intention rather than technological function.

While the Virtual Museum of the Cultural Revolution follows the convention of museums in its self-identification as a museum, many Web sites devoted to the CR defy any traditional nomenclature. They are a new form of mnemonic practice. An example is the Cultural Revolution Research Net. According to information on its front page, this Web site was launched on July 29, 2005. When I visited it on November 30, 2005, it showed that it had 340 subscribers and had received 77,741 hits. Its functions

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