Social Media In Rural China

Social Media In Rural China

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China’s distinctive social media platforms have gained notable popularity among the nation’s vast number of internet users, but has China’s countryside been ‘left behind’ in this communication revolution?

Tom McDonald spent 15 months living in a small rural Chinese community researching how the residents use social media in their daily lives. His ethnographic findings suggest that, far from being left behind, social media is already deeply integrated into the everyday experience of many rural Chinese people. 

Throughout his ground-breaking study, McDonald argues that social media allows rural people to extend and transform their social relationships by deepening already existing connections with friends known through their school, work or village, while also experimenting with completely new forms of relationships through online interactions with strangers. By juxtaposing these seemingly opposed relations, rural social media users are able to use these technologies to understand, capitalise on and challenge the notions of morality that underlie rural life.

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  • anthropology
  • China
  • COMPUTERS / Digital Media / General
  • Culture
  • digital anthropology
  • Digital communications
  • Digital media
  • ethnography
  • networks
  • Online social networks
  • Rural anthropology
  • Rural families
  • Rural poor
  • Rural Sociology
  • Social media
  • Social networks
  • Social Science
  • Social Science / Anthropology
  • Social Science / Anthropology / Cultural
  • SOCIAL SCIENCE / General
  • Social Science / Media Studies
  • Social Science / Popular Culture
  • Social Science / Sociology
  • Social sciences
  • Society
  • Sociology
  • Technology


DOI: 10.14324/111.9781910634691


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