Internet Policy in China: A Field Study of Internet Cafes

Overview

The new Internet bar phenomenon in China reveals a contradictory time and a vital tug of war between the state and civil society. Small, private net bar operators are caught in the double roles of regulator and the regulated, struggling to survive; many Internet café visitors largely enjoy emailing and online entertainment, showing little interest in political or policy issues. And both bar operators and visitors skillfully play a cat-mouse game with the state. Internet Policy in China: A Field Study of Internet ...

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Internet Policy in China: A Field Study of Internet Cafés

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Overview

The new Internet bar phenomenon in China reveals a contradictory time and a vital tug of war between the state and civil society. Small, private net bar operators are caught in the double roles of regulator and the regulated, struggling to survive; many Internet café visitors largely enjoy emailing and online entertainment, showing little interest in political or policy issues. And both bar operators and visitors skillfully play a cat-mouse game with the state. Internet Policy in China: A Field Study of Internet Cafés reports the results of a multi-layered study of this phenomenon. Helen Sun investigates how the Internet has been used by the state and individuals, as well as the implications of Chinese Internet policies and regulations. She conceptualizes media technology as a "dependent variable" that can be affected by other factors such as its availability, the user's uses and expectations, media policy, the market, and the nations-state. Internet Policy in China focuses on the Chinese telecommunications policy-making system, regulatory activities, and the governmental means of control over Internet access and use at both the macro and micro levels. Sun also discusses users' perceptions and uses of the Internet in net cafés, the dual role café owners play in the frantic digital arena, the mismatch between Internet regulations and net café owners and goers, their interaction with governmental policy and regulation, and the social implications of their interactions during China's transitional time.

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Editorial Reviews

Zixiang Tan
Internet cafes in China have become a far more significant phenomenon than the computer corners in US public libraries because of certain social, political, economic, and technology reasons. Sun’s insightful book provides a long-needed comprehensive reading for any one who wants to learn Internet evolution and revolution in China.
Sandra Braman
A superb book that achieves its rich analysis of today's Chinese Internet cafes politics and policy by reaching deeply through state treatment of information, communication, and culture throughout its history. A necessary primer for understanding contemporary Chinese Internet developments.
Merle Goldman
Helen Sun details the meticulous methods used by the Chinese Communist Party to monitor China's Internet communication, particularly at Internet bars. At the same time, she also vividly describes the political energy and democratic discourse unleashed by the Internet, primarily among the younger generation. Internet Policy in China provides a vivid picture of momentous political and social changes under way in China today.
The China Journal
Internet Policy in China: A Field Study of Internet Cafés is an original, detailed and important analysis of the E-public sphere in contemporary China. For anyone concerned with understanding the Internet and communications policy, it offers needed insights into the long-neglected arena of Internet cafés.
CHOICE
Sun (communication, Univ. of Texas, Permian Basin) analyzes new media in China, focusing on the role of state Internet policy at the macro level and how individuals use the Internet at the micro level. This multilevel approach results in a book that deepens and enriches understanding of the country's new technology....Overall, the author captures many of the complexities inherent in the new media environment in China. Summing Up: Recommended.
Choice
Sun (communication, Univ. of Texas, Permian Basin) analyzes new media in China, focusing on the role of state Internet policy at the macro level and how individuals use the Internet at the micro level. This multilevel approach results in a book that deepens and enriches understanding of the country's new technology....Overall, the author captures many of the complexities inherent in the new media environment in China. Summing Up: Recommended.
China Journal
Internet Policy in China: A Field Study of Internet Cafés is an original, detailed and important analysis of the E-public sphere in contemporary China. For anyone concerned with understanding the Internet and communications policy, it offers needed insights into the long-neglected arena of Internet cafés.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Helen Sun is associate professor of communication at The University of Texas of the Permian Basin.

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Table of Contents

Part 1 INTRODUCTION Part 2 PART I: ISSUES AT THE MACRO LEVEL Chapter 3 CHAPTER ONE: Techno-Socio Relationships Chapter 4 CHAPTER TWO: The Evolution of Statism in China Chapter 5 CHAPTER THREE: Media Development and Communication Policy Chapter 6 CHAPTER FOUR: The State's Political Response to Internet Technology Part 7 PART II: ISSUES AT THE MICRO LEVEL Chapter 8 CHAPTER FIVE: Theories about the Public Sphere and the Regulability of Cyberspace Chapter 9 CHAPTER SIX: Internet Cafes and Their Environment Chapter 10 CHAPTER SEVEN: Net Bar Visitors and Their Reaction to Regulation Chapter 11 CHAPTER EIGHT: Net Bar Owners and Their Interaction with the State Part 12 CONCLUSION

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