Date of Award

2009

Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

Communication Studies

First Advisor

Jim Wittebols

Keywords

Communication and the arts, Social sciences, China

Rights

info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess

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.

Abstract

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.

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