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Blogging Alone: China, the Internet, and the Democratic Illusion?

Abstract

Drawing on recent survey data, digital ethnography and comparative analysis, this article presents a critical re-appraisal of the interactive blogosphere in China and its effects on Chinese social and political life. Focused on the discursive and behaviorist trends of Chinese netizens rather than the ubiquitous information control/resistance paradigm, it argues that the Sinophone blogosphere is producing the same shallow infotainment, pernicious misinformation, and interest-based ghettos that it creates elsewhere in the world, and these more prosaic elements need to be considered alongside the Chinese internet's potential for creating new forms of civic activism and socio-political change.

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Jens Damm . 2007. “The Internet and the Fragmentation of Chinese Society.” Critical Asian Studies 39(2): 373–94.

Tom Downey . 2010. “China's Cyberposse.” The New York Times (3 March).

Emily Dunn . 2007. “Netizens of Heaven: Contesting Orthodoxies on the Chinese Protestant Web.” Asian Studies Review 31(4): 447–58.

Daniel Drezner and Henry Farrell . 2008. “Introduction: Blogs, Politics and Power.” Public Choice 134(1–2): 113.

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Haomin Gong and Xin Yang . 2010. “Digitized Parody: The Politics of Egao in Contemporary China.” China Information 24(1): 326.

Jürgen Habermas . 2006. “Political Communication in Media Society: Does Democracy Still Enjoy An Epistemic Dimension?” Communication Theory 16: 411–26.

Eszter Hargittai , Jason Gallo , and Matthew Kane . 2008. “Cross-Ideological Discussion Among Conservative and Liberal Bloggers.” Public Choice 134(1): 6786.

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Miller McPherson , Lynn Smith-Lovin , and James M. Cook . 2001. “Birds of a Feather: Homophily in Social Networks.” Annual Review of Sociology 27: 415444.

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The Journal of Asian Studies
  • ISSN: 0021-9118
  • EISSN: 1752-0401
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-asian-studies
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