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The Power of the Internet in China


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Table of Contents

List of Figures List of Tables Acknowledgments Introduction 1. Online Activism in an Age of Contention 2. The Politics of Digital Contention 3. The Rituals and Genres of Contention 4. The Changing Style of Contention 5. The Business of Digital Contention 6. Civic Associations Online 7. Utopian Realism in Online Communities 8. Transnational Activism Online Conclusion: China's Long Revolution Notes Bibliography Index

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Since the mid-1990s, the Internet has revolutionized popular expression in China, enabling users to organize, protest, and influence public opinion in unprecedented ways. Guobin Yang's pioneering study maps contentious forms and practices linked to Chinese cyberspace, delineating a dynamic image of the Chinese Internet as an arena for creativity, community, conflict, and control. Like many contemporary protest forms, Yang argues, Chinese online activism derives its methods and vitality from multiple and intersecting forces, and state efforts to constrain it have only led to more creative acts of subversion. Yang's vivid story exemplifies this new era of informational politics, and a new afterword provides a detailed analysis of recent developments.

About the Author

Guobin Yang is an associate professor in the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures at Barnard College, Columbia University. He is coeditor, with Ching Kwan Lee, of Re-envisioning the Chinese Revolution: The Politics and Poetics of Collective Memories in Reform China.


A boundary-breaking book... A snap review of some of the hottest issues in front of the Chinese public today. -- Daniel Little Understanding Society Mr. Yang's work is essential reading. -- Rebecca MacKinnon Far Eastern Economic Review This work represents a major advancement in scholarly research... unquestionably, it should be on reading lists for courses related to social and political development in China... it is highly recommended to all. -- Jonathan Sullivan The China Quarterly Of interest to sociologists and students of mass communications... Recommended. Choice Essential reading for all those seeking a more nuanced account of the power of the internet in China than that provided by international media and human rights organizations. -- Colin Hawes The China Journal Yang develops a lens that centers on concrete issues and situations that are both empirical-practical and conceptual-theoretical. -- Peter Marolt International Journal of Communication The Power of the Internet in China by Yang Guobin is destined to be classic and obligatory reading for anyone interested in understanding the role of the internet in people's struggle for freedom, justice, and democracy in China. -- Lokman Tsui China Information The Power of the Internet in China offers us not only a rich study of Chineseonline activism but also raises significant questions about China's civil society. -- Ming-Cheng Miriam Lo Contemporary Sociology

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