Social Media in Industrial China

Social Media in Industrial China

By Xinyuan Wang
Book Description

Described as the biggest migration in human history, an estimated 250 million Chinese people have left their villages in recent decades to live and work in urban areas. Xinyuan Wang spent 15 months living among a community of these migrants in a small factory town in southeast China to track their use of social media. It was here she witnessed a second migration taking place: a movement from offline to online. As Wang argues, this is not simply a convenient analogy but represents the convergence of two phenomena as profound and consequential as each other, where the online world now provides a home for the migrant workers who feel otherwise ‘homeless’.

Wang’s fascinating study explores the full range of preconceptions commonly held about Chinese people – their relationship with education, with family, with politics, with ‘home’ – and argues why, for this vast population, it is time to reassess what we think we know about contemporary China and the evolving role of social media.

Table of Contents
  • Front-Cover
  • Half Title
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • Introduction to the series Why We Post
  • Acknowledgements
  • Contents
  • List of figures
  • List of charts
  • 1 Introduction
    • A brief review of the book
      • Chinese family and hukou
    • The story of Dong
    • The GoodPath: A transitional town
    • A tour of GoodPath
      • The first stop: The high street
      • The second stop: Zhao village
      • The third stop: Peasant flats (nongmin fang) in the new villages
      • The fourth stop: The digital centre
      • The fifth stop: Factory plants
    • The end of the tour
    • A final note on methodology
  • 2 The social media landscape in China1
    • A brief history of Chinese ICTs’ development6
    • QQ: The dominant social media platform in GoodPath
    • QQ – once the symbol of urban lifestyle
    • WeChat —​ China’s favourite new social media
    • What is Weibo?
    • Social media and smartphones
    • Conclusion
  • 3 Visual material on social media
    • Genres of visual material on social media
      • ‘Relationships’
      • ‘Selfies’
      • ‘Trivia’
      • ‘Compulsorily shared’
      • ‘Chicken soup for the soul’
      • ‘Humour’
      • ‘Fantasy’
      • ‘Children’
      • ‘Travel’
      • ‘Events’
      • ‘Archive’
      • ‘Political’
      • ‘Food’
      • ‘Anti-​mainstream’ (Feizhuliu)
      • ‘Commercial’​
    • What is special about the visual postings of rural migrants?
    • The coming of age of young rural migrants on social media
    • The visual on social media – a new language
  • 4 Social media and social relationships
    • ‘Thank you for keeping me on your contact list’
    • The ‘hot and noisy’ principle
    • Couples and wider family relationships on social media
    • Romantic relationships on social media
    • Friendship on social media
    • Yin si (privacy) on social media
    • Conclusion
  • 5 Social media, politics and gender
    • Internet censorship in China
    • The living experience of politics – offline and online
    • ‘Be in love with the government, but don’t marry it’
    • Politics as a football game
    • ‘I have no interests in politics, but being a Communist Party member is so useful’
    • The ‘phoenix man’ and his political life
    • Conclusion
    • The good women of China41
    • Men: From opposition to feminisation
    • Conclusion
  • 6 The wider world: Beyond social relationships
    • The atheist, folk religion and death
    • Chinese folk religion: Some background
    • Deities on social media
    • The homeland on social media
    • Folk tales on social media
      • Story 1 (in brief)
      • Story 2 (in brief)
    • Future life on social media
    • Conclusion
  • 7 Conclusion: The dual migration
    • The deep rupture offline
    • The profound reconstruction online
  • Notes
  • References
  • Index
  • Back-Cover
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