The Power of the Internet in China: Citizen Activism Online (Contemporary Asia in the World) Reprint Edition
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Mr. Yang's work is essential reading. -- Rebecca MacKinnon, Far Eastern Economic Review
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, The China Quarterly
Of interest to sociologists and students of mass communications... Recommended., Choice
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, The China Journal
Yang develops a lens that centers on concrete issues and situations that are both empirical-practical and conceptual-theoretical. -- Peter Marolt, International Journal of Communication
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, China Information
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, Contemporary Sociology
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One key benefit of Yang's work is the sheer scope that he is able to cover, particularly in regards to the history of the internet in China. His analysis includes both the more recent and heavily covered cases of net based social movements, but he also has data going back all the way to more protean forms of digital interaction in China. Another beneficial part of his analysis is the detailed account of specific forms of discourse and contention that are unique to the Chinese digital landscape.
Theoretically, there isn't much new here as regards the role of the internet in society. Yang's book falls, theoretically, into the "more of the same" assessments of the internet: it enhances, speeds up, and more extensively connects people in society. The Net is then faster, farther, stronger than offline life, but little different in quality.
Altogether, Yang makes a useful contribution to both the study of modern Chinese society and the relationship between the Internet and social movements.
cultural context as much as the political context. There's some
valuable original research, as well as summaries of other people's
observations, but the book is is more useful as a starting point for
discussion than an authority to resolve debates. Topics include the
cat-and-mouse games played by protesters and the state, historical
offline precedents for online action, data about Internet use by civic
organizations, the relationship between expression and Internet
businesses, and international contacts. I enjoyed this book for both
the facts Yang offered and the window he opened into a culture I know
very little about but that I'm sure will come to have a bigger and
bigger impact on my life.