Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Communication Studies

First Advisor

Jim Wittebols


Communication and the arts, Social sciences, China



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


The explosive development of the Internet in China has catalyzed the emergence of the information society. It is a commonly held view that the Internet provides an online public sphere which provides citizens real opportunities for the democratization of public life. This common sense creates a "myth" of cyberdemocracy. My thesis tests whether this "myth" can be justified with respect to China's information society. First, the nature of the "myth" is analyzed. I examine how the Chinese people understand and interpret the "myth". Second, I focus on whether the "myth" of cyberdemocracy can be justified, especially in the context of China's information society. Based on the analysis of China's information society background, I also explore how the "myth" works to eliminate social contradictions and to obscure the power relations underlying the discourse. I hypothesize that the contradiction between the market-oriented economy and political control impairs the Internet's democratic potential, and power relations in China's information society have not been changed.