After the Internet, Before Democracy: Competing Norms in Chinese Media and Society
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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Technological determinism and democracy
Internet regulation and the youthsubaltern norm
The youthsubaltern norm and a real name registration system
Mapping the Chinese blogosphere
Trusting news breaks in the blogosphere trusting news analysis in official media
And the baton passes to citizen journalism
The identities of investigative journalists
Ideotainment and propaganda theory
A nationalistic information sphere
The information sphere of SinoJapanese relations
Nationalism and Chinese democratization
Domestic and multinational company norms
Norms endgame and breakthrough
From onedirectional to multidirectional surveillance
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