The Power of the Internet in China: Citizen Activism Online

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Overview

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 an innovative range of contentious forms and practices linked to Chinese cyberspace, delineating a nuanced and dynamic image of the Chinese Internet as an arena for creativity, community, conflict, and control. Like many other contemporary protest forms in China and the world, 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. Transnationalism and the tradition of protest in China's incipient civil society provide cultural and social resources to online activism. Even Internet businesses have encouraged contentious activities, generating an unusual synergy between commerce and activism. Yang's book weaves these strands together to create a vivid story of immense social change, indicating a new era of informational politics.

Columbia University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Understanding Society - Daniel Little

A boundary-breaking book.... A snap review of some of the hottest issues in front of the Chinese public today.

Far Eastern Economic Review - Rebecca MacKinnon

Mr. Yang's work is essential reading.

The China Quarterly - Jonathan Sullivan

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.

The China Journal - Colin Hawes

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.

International Journal of Communication - Peter Marolt

Yang develops a lens that centers on concrete issues and situations that are both empirical-practical and conceptual-theoretical.

China Information - Lokman Tsui

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.

Contemporary Sociology - Ming-Cheng Miriam Lo

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.

Understanding Society
A boundary-breaking book.... A snap review of some of the hottest issues in front of the Chinese public today.

— Daniel Little

Far Eastern Economic Review
Mr. Yang's work is essential reading.

— Rebecca MacKinnon

The China Quarterly
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

Choice

Of interest to sociologists and students of mass communications... Recommended.

The China Journal
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

International Journal of Communication
Yang develops a lens that centers on concrete issues and situations that are both empirical-practical and conceptual-theoretical.

— Peter Marolt

China Information
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

Contemporary Sociology
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

Choice

Of interest to sociologists and students of mass communications... Recommended.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231144209
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 6/26/2009
  • Series: Contemporary Asia in the World Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet 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.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

List of FiguresList of TablesAcknowledgmentsIntroduction1. Online Activism in an Age of Contention2. The Politics of Digital Contention3. The Rituals and Genres of Contention4. The Changing Style of Contention5. The Business of Digital Contention6. Civic Associations Online7. Utopian Realism in Online Communities8. Transnational Activism OnlineConclusion: China's Long RevolutionNotesBibliographyIndex

Columbia University Press

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