Dissertation > Culture, science,education, sports > Information and knowledge dissemination > Information and communication theory > Communication Theory

Internet the new political alternative democratic

Author HuHan
Tutor LvXinYu
School Fudan University
Course Radio and Television Arts
Keywords Post-structuralism Internet New Politics Cosmopolitanism Blog Wang Xiaofeng
CLC G206
Type Master's thesis
Year 2011
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This study argues that the traditional democracy theory and its core model’Public Sphere’is in crisis and cannot be used to discuss today’s Internet politics in China. This research turns to a post-structuralist approach to examine how the commercial practice and political censorship are influencing the political expression of bloggers. It asks how the new politics represents itself in the contemporary Chinese cyberspace.Wang Xiaofeng’s blog ’No Guess’and’Massage Milk’ is chosen here as the loci of examination. Through virtual ethnography, ethnography and interview, this research identifies four characteristics of the politics emerged in Wang’s blog. Firstly, facing the power system of modern China, Wang is practicing a multiple, indirect resistance aiming at attacking different miniature regimes. Secondly, relying on language game as the core of political critics, Wang Xiaofeng convert the transgression and subversion power inside critical intertextuality into an interesting, powerful, and safe form of democratic aesthetics. Thirdly, commercial practice and political pursuit are found existed simultaneously in the blog and are embodied in each other. Political critics become business while business is itself political. Lastly, Wang’s political practice shows an incomplete post-structural tendency, which indicates the defects of post-structuralist theories and the need for revision. It is argued that these four characters have mapped out the outlook of one kind of new politics influenced by market forces as well as political censorship in China. This kind of democracy is enabled by the decentralized and globalized Internet and does not fit in the traditional modernist democratic politics of Western style. But once we get rid of methodological nationalism and modernist political patterns, and take the methodological cosmopolitanism perspective, we can easily identify the unique form of democracy (or alternative democracy) achieved by the new politics in digital culture. Besides, this dissertation argues that poststructuralist theory is quite useful in interpreting new phenomenon in digital culture. It also sees the defects of the theory itself during empirical research and thus asks for revision

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