After the Internet, Before Democracy: Competing Norms in Chinese Media and Society

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Peter Lang, 2010 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 325 pages
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China has lived with the Internet for nearly two decades. Will increased Internet use, with new possibilities to share information and discuss news and politics, lead to democracy, or will it to the contrary sustain a nationalist supported authoritarianism that may eventually contest the global information order?
This book takes stock of the ongoing tug of war between state power and civil society on and off the Internet, a phenomenon that is fast becoming the centerpiece in the Chinese Communist Party's struggle to stay in power indefinitely. It interrogates the dynamics of this enduring contestation, before democracy, by following how Chinese society travels from getting access to the Internet to our time having the world's largest Internet population. Pursuing the rationale of Internet regulation, the rise of the Chinese blogosphere and citizen journalism, Internet irony, online propaganda, the relation between state and popular nationalism, and finally the role of social media to bring about China's democratization, this book offers a fresh and provocative perspective on the arguable role of media technologies in the process of democratization, by applying social norm theory to illuminate the competition between the Party-state norm and the youth/subaltern norm in Chinese media and society.
 

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Contents

Acknowledgements
9
Technological determinism and democracy
25
Internet regulation and the youthsubaltern norm
41
The youthsubaltern norm and a real name registration system
55
Mapping the Chinese blogosphere
70
Trusting news breaks in the blogosphere trusting news analysis in official media
83
And the baton passes to citizen journalism
93
The identities of investigative journalists
112
Ideotainment and propaganda theory
175
A nationalistic information sphere
191
The information sphere of SinoJapanese relations
206
Nationalism and Chinese democratization
220
Domestic and multinational company norms
240
Norms endgame and breakthrough
261
From onedirectional to multidirectional surveillance
274
Bibliography
287

Weapons of harmony and irony
127
Selfcensorship in society
144
Old propaganda becomes ideotainment
161

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2010)

Johan Lagerkvist holds a PhD in Chinese from Lund University. He is a senior research fellow at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs in Stockholm.

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