Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 2
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Schulte, Barbara 2015. (Dis)Empowering technologies: ICT for education (ICT4E) in China, past and present. Chinese Journal of Communication, Vol. 8, Issue. 1, p. 59.

    Wallis, Cara 2015. Micro-entrepreneurship, new media technologies, and the reproduction and reconfiguration of gender in rural China. Chinese Journal of Communication, Vol. 8, Issue. 1, p. 42.

  • The China Quarterly, Volume 207
  • September 2011, pp. 580-599

Digital Divide and Social Cleavage: Case Studies of ICT Usage among Peasants in Contemporary China*

  • Yuhua Guo (a1) and Peng Chen (a2)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 22 September 2011

During its structural transformation, rural China witnessed the emergence of four types of village: traditional, industrialized, commercial and villages in cities. Information Communication Technologies (ICTs), including fixed phones, cell phones, television sets and the internet (with personal computers), are now commonly used in Chinese villages but in ways that differentiate villagers according to variables such as occupation, villager membership and social status. The adoption of ICTs by peasants not only represents but also accelerates growing peasant differentiation; in other words, the function of ICTs could not penetrate the barrier of social structure. Meanwhile, structural transformation in China has been an activator to shaping peasants' diversified ideas about information, and the demand for and usage of ICTs. An analysis of peasants' ICT adoption thus enables us to identify the basic trends and characteristics of social transformation in contemporary China.

Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Saskia Sassen , “Towards a sociology of information technology,” Current Sociology, Vol. 50 (2002), pp. 365–88

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

The China Quarterly
  • ISSN: 0305-7410
  • EISSN: 1468-2648
  • URL: /core/journals/china-quarterly
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *