1st Edition

China Online
Locating Society in Online Spaces

ISBN 9781138577923
Published October 12, 2017 by Routledge
198 Pages

USD $56.95

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Book Description

The Chinese internet is driving change across all facets of social life, and scholars have grown mindful that online and offline spaces have become interdependent and inseparable dimensions of social, political, economic, and cultural activity. This book showcases the richness and diversity of Chinese cyberspaces, conceptualizing online and offline China as separate but inter-connected spaces in which a wide array of people and groups act and interact under the gaze of a seemingly monolithic authoritarian state. The cyberspaces comprising "online China" are understood as spaces for interaction and negotiation that influence "offline China". The book argues that these spaces allow their users greater "freedoms" despite ubiquitous control and surveillance by the state authorities. The book is a sequel to the editors’ earlier work, Online Society in China: Creating, Celebrating and Instrumentalising the Online Carnival (Routledge, 2011).

Table of Contents

Part 1: Deliberating Online Spaces  1. Grounding Online Spaces Peter Marolt  2. Users, not Netizens: Spaces and Practices on the Chinese Internet David Kurt Herold  Part 2: Defining Online Spaces  3. “The Corpses were Emotionally Stable”: Agency and Passivity on the Chinese Internet Jonathan Benney  4. Regarding Subjectivities and Social Life on the Screen: The Ambivalences of Spectatorship in the People’s Republic of China Alex Cockain  Part 3: Claiming Online Spaces  5. A Framing Analysis of Chinese Independent Candidates’ Strategic Use of Microblogging for Online Campaign and Political Expression Yu Liu and Qinghua Yang  6. China’s Dream of High-speed Growth Gets Rear-ended: The “Wenzhou 723” Microblogging Incident and the Erosion of Public Confidence Günter Schucher and Maria Bondes  Part 4: Enjoying Online Spaces  7. Gold Farmers and Water Army: Digital Playbour with Chinese Characteristics Ge Jin and David Kurt Herold  8. Chinese Fansub Groups as Communities of Practice: An Ethnography of Online Language Learning Xiao Liu and Gabriele de Seta  Part 5: Shaping Online Spaces  9. Balancing Market and Politics: The Logic of Organizing Cyber Communities in China Cuiming Pang  10. The Role of Chinese Internet Industry Workers in Creating Alternative Online Spaces Bingqing Xia and Helen Kennedy

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Peter Marolt is a Research Fellow at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore

David Kurt Herold is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Hong Kong Polytechnic University


'...this book offers a sense of freshness in dealing with Chinese internet studies that eschews the dogmatic paradigms often found in current literature by proposing a new conceptualization of Chinese internet users as well as an ethnographic ‘everyday-life-approach’ to the field of study.'

Giuseppe Minacapilli, East China Normal University, Asiascape: Digital Asia