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Journal Article

Title
Social Media as Tools of Maintaining Harmony in China: The Case of Sina Weibo
AuthorThiele, Franziska
Published in
Vol. 9, Issue 9, page 1-23
PublishedSalzburg : Universitätsbibliothek Salzburg, 2018
Edition
Elektronische Ressource
KeywordsSina Weibo / social media / China, censorship / WeChat / internet / qualitative interview
URNurn:nbn:at:at-ubs:4-1342 Persistent Identifier (URN)
URN10.25598/JKM/2018-9.23 Persistent Identifier (URN)
Links
Download Thiele Franziska Social Media as Tools of Maintaining Harmony in China The Case [0.52 mb]
Reference
Abstract (English)

A significant amount of English language-based literature on how social media in China are used as platforms for discussing politics and criticising the government is available. However, most of the empirical data is gained from the analysis of quantitative data or case studies, while qualitative interview studies asking users to express their thoughts can only rarely be found. The aim of this paper is to analyse the role of social media in the cat-and-mouse game of Chinese internet censorship by looking at the case of Sina Weibo through 13 qualitative interviews conducted within China and Germany with Chinese people. The paper uses the three levels of the public sphere by Gerhards and Neidhardt as well as Foucaults work on the order of discourse as its theoretical basis. The results show that even though censorship on social media has increased, these platforms play a very important role in maintaining a harmonious society while functioning as tools of information, criticism and dissent for the users and bringing problems within society to the governments attention.

License
CC-BY-NC-ND-License (4.0)Creative Commons Attribution - NonCommercial - NoDerivatives 4.0 International License