Youth and Internet Addiction in China

By Trent Bax

© 2014 – Routledge

240 pages

Purchasing Options:
Hardback: 9780415656917
pub: 2013-08-05
US Dollars$160.00
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About the Book

A form of 'electronic opium' is how some people have characterised young people’s internet use in China. The problem of 'internet addiction' (wangyin) is seen by some parents as so severe that they have sought psychiatric help for their children. This book, which is based on extensive original research, including discussions with psychiatrists, parents and 'internet-addicted' young people, explores the conflicting attitudes which this issue reveals. It contrasts the views of young people who see internet use, especially gaming, as a welcome escape from the dehumanising pressures of contemporary Chinese life, with the approach of those such as their parents, who medicalise internet overuse and insist that working hard for good school grades is the correct way to progress. The author shows that these contrasting attitudes lead to battles which are often fierce and violent, and argues that the greater problem may in fact lie with parents and other authority figures, who misguidedly apply high pressure to enforce young people to conform to the empty values of a modern, dehumanised consumer-oriented society.

Reviews

'The idea of Internet addiction haunts parents, teachers, and other adults, as well as the youth who feel overwhelmed by the appeal of the virtual world. Many refer to psychological instability, worsening grades at school, distancing of self from friends and family, and other signs as evidence of such addiction. … The author recognizes that some Chinese youth indeed demonstrate problematic behavioral patterns that make it difficult to lead what is considered to be a "normal" life. In order to deal with these concerns, Bax suggests that a new approach of "[seeking] to uncover the intra-, inter- and extra-personal factors underlining socially problematic Internet use" is necessary. This approach is applicable to other social concerns in the era of digital technology outside of China. The case study helps unearth solutions to common "psychosocial problems."'Y. Kiunchi, Michigan State University, CHOICE, February 2014

"This book will be of value to clinicians, researchers and those interested in cross-cultural differences in the perception of addictive behaviours and their treatment, and those seeking alternative humanistic-based explanations for excessive behaviours. A highly recommended and informative read." – International Gambling Studies

Table of Contents

Introduction: Turn On 1. Log In 2. The Internet Addiction Disorder 3. Critiques of the Internet Addiction Disorder Model 4. The Humanistic Intensive Internet Use Model 5. The Family War-Machine and the Search for Freedom 6. Push & Pull Factors 7. DSM-IV – Internet Addiction Disorder 8. Conclusion: Log off

About the Author

Trent Bax is in the Department of Sociology at Ewha Womans University, South Korea.

About the Series

Routledge Culture, Society, Business in East Asia Series

Editorial Board:


Heung Wah  Wong (Executive Editor), The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
Chris Hutton, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
Wayne Cristaudo, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
Harumi Befu (Emeritus Professor), Stanford University, USA
Shao-dang Yan, Peking University, China
Andrew Stewart MacNaughton, Reitaku University, Japan
William Kelly, Independent Researcher
Keiji Maegawa, Tsukuba University, Japan
Kiyomitsu Yui, Kobe University, Japan

How and what are we to examine if we wish to understand the commonalities across East Asia without falling into the powerful fictions or homogeneities that dress its many constituencies? By the same measure, can East Asian homogeneities make sense in any way outside the biases of East-West personation?

For anthropologists familiar with the societies of East Asia, there is a rich diversity of work that can potentially be applied to address these questions within a comparative tradition grounded in the region as opposed the singularizing outward encounter. This requires us to broaden our scope of investigation to include all aspects of intra-regional life, trade, ideology, culture, and governance, while at the same time dedicating ourselves to a complete and holistic understanding of the exchange of identities that describe each community under investigation. An original and wide ranging analysis will be the result, one that draws on the methods and theory of anthropology as it deepens our understanding of the interconnections, dependencies, and discordances within and among East Asia.

The book series includes three broad strands within and between which to critically examine the various insides and outsides of the region. The first is about the globalization of Japanese popular culture in East Asia, especially in greater China. The second strand presents comparative studies of major social institutions in Japan and China, such as family, community and other major concepts in Japanese and Chinese societies. The final strand puts forward cross-cultural studies of business in East Asia.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOC008000
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General