Networked Resistance: Digital Populism, Online Activism, and Mass Dissent in China

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28 Scopus citations


The ever-expanding communicative space online has provided Chinese individuals with unprecedented access to an exploding base of user-generated content and has engendered innovative ways of mass collaboration and grassroots participation in the information production process. Within this context, an emerging pattern has redefined the contours of Chinese cyber culture in which dispersed individuals creatively coordinate efforts to expose outrageous wrongdoings and transgressions committed by government officials and other targeted individuals. This article scrutinizes the role of social media in China in opening up new windows of opportunities for mass collaboration and collective action. The analysis is embedded in the current Chinese socio-political power relations and hegemonic structure, and focuses on the salient themes, trending patterns, and circumstantial factors underlying this type of social media activism. It concludes with a deliberation on the implications of this type of populism for so-called netizens, the authoritarian polity, and the evolving new media landscape in China.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)120-131
Number of pages12
JournalPopular Communication
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 3 2015

Bibliographical note

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© Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication


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