This book examines the use and culture of digital media in urban Chinese cities. By examining examples and data from Chinese and global social media platforms, the book argues that digital media facilitate Chinese people’s sense of local self and local identity. In doing so, the book moves on from the polarised debate regarding the democratic function of Chinese Internet to instead examine the connection between digital technologies and the country’s history, culture and eventually, people and their everyday lives. It offers a rich analysis of a Chinese city in the digital age, and challenges the nationalistic approach to study China’s digital media culture.
Introduction Place, locality and digital media in China / 1. Minjian Society: identity, culture and digital media / 2. Two tales of one city: across the state and commoners / 3. Bodily practice: Digitizing the Guangzhou body / 4. Geographical knowledge: reproducing Guangzhou / 5. Opinion leadership: Re-configuring the city-nation dialectic / Conclusion: From Guangzhou to China: rethinking digital media research of China / Appendix: Notes on methods / References
Guangzhou is an epitome of the digitalizing cultures and urban cities in China. In Digital Media in Urban China, Wilfred Wang adeptly illustrates strategies of cultural resistance, conflicting public discourses in social media, and political dynamics of citizenship and identity in digital media with the case of Guangzhou.
Pushing back against political and ideological efforts to erase ‘the local’, Wilfred Yang Wang skilfully traces the southern Chinese city Guangzhou in vast online networks. Digital Media in Urban China provides a rich account of cross-cultural processes of placemaking, taking shape in the interplay between state, people and market, and involving Cantonese diasporic communities around the world.
Wilfred Yang Wang, Research Associate, Queensland University of Technology