Towards Democratisation?: Understanding university students’ Internet use in mainland China



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Illustrations

Tables





Table 1. Comparison between rate of population age 6 and over by educational level 72

Table 2. Statistics of Chinese overseas students from 1978 to 2009 72

Table 3. Features of focus group participants 102

Table 4. Categories emerged from the focused coding 114

Table 5. Who are the participants? 116

Table 6. Online skills 117

Table 7. Participants’ online skills? 117

Table 8. How did the participants describe themselves? 118

Table 9. Other media use 120

Table 10. Interne use habit I 122

Table 11. Internet use habit II 124

Table 12. The participants’ online activities 126

Table 13. News reading: channel and frequency 129

Table 14. Online news reading: reading habit 132

Table 15. Online news reading: what do I read? 135

Table 16. Online news reading: how do I understand news? 138

Table 17. Online news reading: why do I read news? 140

Table 18. Online information search: channel and message 143

Table 19. Online information search: search habit 145

Table 20. Online lecture 148

Table 21. QQ contacts: number, categories and frequent contacts 150

Table 22. QQ contacts: message 152

Table 23. QQ contacts: habit 153

Table 24. QQ groups: number, categories and active groups 154

Table 25. QQ groups: what they do or do not communicate 156

Table 26. QQ groups: habit 157

Table 27. QQ groups: participant as an organiser of QQ groups 158

Table 28. Qzone: who and message 158

Table 29. Qzone: frequency and habit 159

Table 30. Renren: friends and frequency 161

Table 31. Renren: what do they communicate? 162

Table 32. Weibo: service provider, anonymity, frequency and number of followers 165

Table 33. Weibo: who do I follow? 166

Table 34. Weibo: why do I follow? 175

Table 35. Weibo: what do I follow and how? 176

Table 36. Weibo: tweet and comment 177

Table 37. Weibo: what do I retweet? 180

Table 38. Weibo: who follows me? 181

Table 39. Weibo: why do I retweet? 182

Table 40. Weibo: who do I interact or converse with? 182

Table 41. Between acquaintances and strangers: channel 183

Table 42. Between acquaintances and strangers: communication and interaction 184

Table 43. Between acquaintances and strangers: development of relationship 186

Table 44. University Intranet: participants as audience 188

Table 45. University Intranet: participants as communicators 193

Table 46. Online forum: topic, purpose and participant’s contribution 196

Table 47. Online forum: topic, number, and effect 198

Table 48. Report problems or make suggestion to government online 200

Table 49. Participation in political activities or organisations through the Internet 201

Table 50. Participation in the local people’s congress election (supposed) 202

Table 51. Online participation 203

Table 52. Online volunteering 204

Table 53. Offline volunteering and participation 205

Table 54. Online travelling 206

Table 55. Online movies:channel, content and frequency 208

Table 56. Online movies: habit and effect 209

Table 57. Climbing over the Great Wall I 210

Table 58. Climbing over the Great Wall II 212

Table 59. Twitter 213

Table 60. Facebook 214

Table 61. Participant as a communicator: why 214

Table 62. Reasons for silence: censorship 215

Table 63. Reasons for silence: lack of motivation 217

Table 64. Reasons for silence: lack of experience or expertise and lack of trust 217

Table 65. Reasons for silence: personality and online labelling 218

Table 66. Participant as a communicator: channel, message and frequency 219

Table 67. Civic talk: channel, deliberator and message 224

Table 68. Civic talk: Role of the participant and frequency 225

Table 69. The Internet’s effect in general: what it affects 229

Table 70. How it affects: the properties of the Internet 233

Table 71. How Internet affects: media exposure and government 234

Table 72. How Internet affects: public opinion and concern 235

Table 73. How Internet affects: opinion leaders and extreme comments 239

Table 74. How it affects: doubt about the current system 240

Table 75. How it affects: gradual effect 240

Table 76. The Internet’s effect in general: what it does not affect 241

Table 77. What contributes to limited political influence of the Internet: the government 242

Table 78. What contributes to limited influence of the Internet: the public 243

Table 79. What contributes to limited influence of the Internet: pioneers 244

Table 80. What contributes to limited influence of the Internet: environment 245

Table 81. The participants’ belief of their influence through the Internet 245

Table 82. Internet’s effect on participants’ view 247

Table 83. Internet’s effect on participants’ behaviour 251

Table 84. Internet’s effect on participants’ attitude 254

Table 85. Understanding of online comments and user-generated content I 256

Table 86. Understanding of online comments and user-generated content II 257

Table 87. Participants’ belief in irrelevance of social problems 260

Table 88. Belief in moral high ground or self-discipline 261

Table 89. Lack of ethics of animal research and product 261

Table 90. Understanding of censorship: influence of censorship on the participant 262

Table 91. Understanding of censorship: attitude to censorship 264

Table 92. Understanding of censorship: what is censored? 266

Table 93. Understanding of censorship: privacy concern 267

Table 94. Attitude toward government corruption 268

Table 95. Online shopping: channel, window shopping, buying and selling 361

Table 96. Online shopping: communication and networking, and understanding 362

Table 97. Online music 363

Table 98. Online games 363

Table 99. Downloading 364

Table 100. Online novels 364

Table 101. Online literature 364

Table 102. Online magazines 365

Table 103. Email 365



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