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.
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