Open Access Repository

From Active Audience to Media Citizenship: The Case of Post-Mao China


Downloads per month over past year

Yu, H 2008 , 'From Active Audience to Media Citizenship: The Case of Post-Mao China', in K Wahl-Jorgensen (ed.), Mediated Citizenship , Routledge, Abingdon, UK, pp. 99-121.

[img] PDF
From_Active_Aud...pdf | Document not available for request/download
Full text restricted
Available under University of Tasmania Standard License.


This chapter studies media practices of urban Chinese in order to examine
conceptual changes in the notion of citizenship in post-Mao China. It focuses on
how the media can cultivate a "rights" consciousness among the populace and
how new media have been appropriated as alternative public spaces for
articulating alternative political discourses. Through two case studies (the
deaths of Sun Zhigang and li Siyi), I argue that the concept of citizenship can
no longer be thought of as a formal and institutional given, but as a concept of
fluidity and flexibility that rests on the spatial and subjective positions of the
individual in question. New media have been playing an essential role in
decentralizing "citizenship." Active audience participation in online discussions,
petitions and protests can influence public opinion, check the authority, and even
challenge the political agendas of the government as shown in the abolition of
"anti-vagrancy laws" in the case studies. I describe this as the practice
of "media citizenship." It is a sign of empowerment for the awakening "masses"
of certain factions of Chinese society for whom participation in the circulation of
"lay" knowledge of social and political issues is equivalent to exercising

Item Type: Book Section
Authors/Creators:Yu, H
Publisher: Routledge
Item Statistics: View statistics for this item

Actions (login required)

Item Control Page Item Control Page