Bringing a Network Perspective to Chinese Internet Studies: An Exploratory Analysis
This paper adopts a network perspective to explore the ways digitally-mediated relationships prompt social and/or political participation in China. In the “chicken game scenario”, my analysis suggests that collective actions are facilitated by both weak and strong ties, which generate a fairly unified collective identity that is conductive to high-risk mobilization. In the “public crisis scenario”, it is generally weak ties that facilitate relatively lower-risk mobilization. In the “compromise scenario”, if collective actions do occur, they are generally low-risk and non-political. This appears to be largely due to the dominance of weak ties in the compromise scenario. The “banal scenario” is a black box that has yet to be sufficiently investigated in the future.
KeywordsChinese Internet Studies Digitally-Mediated Relationships Weak Ties Strong Ties Political Participation
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