Previous 2010 Conference

The 2010 Conference Report is provided as below:

Opening Remarks and Keynotes

June 29, 2010 School of Journalism & Communication(SJC) , Peking University has seen the 8th Chinese Internet Research Conference(CIRC) opening, which aims to approach further international cooperative study on interaction of China and the Internet.

Prof. XU, Hong, Executive Deputy Dean of SJC addresses her welcoming remarks.  “participating , interaction, equality, communication and sharing are core features and basic spirits innovated by the Internet and New media. we believe that all these factors will bring long-time and deep transformation to China society.” Prof. XU values the significance of this CIRC conference.

Patrice M. Buzzanell, Professor at Purdue University makes Keynote to CIRC opening. Prof. Buzzanell mentions that New Face of China poses intriguing challenges and opportunities for communication and interdisciplinary researchers. This “new face” strains and enriches intersections, such as hard-soft power, control and mediation tensions, traditional and new media, immigration and reverse brain drain policies, and online privacy and community. A research agenda is posed that illuminates what this “new face” might mean as communication in and about China and the field of communication becomes increasingly co-integrated.

Another CIRC opening Keynote  is from YANY, Boxu, Prof. at SJC. In his speech, Prof, YANG expounds the twilight zone in China when the polarized social capital in the real life meets the restructured social relations in the virtual world.

CIRC opening will be followed by topic session on Civic Cultures Online.

Session 1 : Civil Cultures Online

Jiang Min(speaker 1)

Jiang begins with some controversial events in 2008 including Nude Celerity scandal, Olympic torch relay incidents in France, runner Fan in Sichuan Earthquake, which showed Chinese netizens’ power. She points out that media plays an important role for every single event can be presented from various angles. With regard to ICIs (Internet Collective Incidents) emerging in China, approaches are initially identified into Who, Where and Why. Grassroots media (citizen media) other than professional reporters tell the public stories; standards of real & virtual are more and more judged “online only”; “we do not know the truth” and enormous rumors give Internet some power.

Wu Qiang( speaker 2) -The emerging twittering politics in China:a cybernetic perspectives

As we all know,twitter plays an important part in the internet world.Professor Wu Qiang brings out a question at the beginning of his presentation:What does twitter mean in China?In his opinion,it means highly politicization,opinion leaders’ grouping and contentious engagement.Twitter has its own language and contestant grouping,what’s more,its easy accessibility leads more people participate in it.Professor Wu thinks that,twitter is full of importance as it links field online and protest field;and it links discourse and action;and it links occasional events and social movement networks.

Dai Jia(speaker 3)

Dai focus on Deliberating in the Chinese blogosphere, which is more a theoretical framework than some data analysis. Blogging in China has become sort of “phenomenon”, because China’ authoritarian deliberation and its commanding control system lead to citizens’ unsatisfaction of information availability. The cause relationship between these two conflicting factors roots in incomplete information availability.

Steven J.Balla(speaker 4)

Steven starts with two key questions after reviewing the Chinese health systemreform.Firstly,what are the demographic altributes of participants in the health system reform proces?Secondly,what attitudes of commenters toward public involvement in the policymaking process? Followed is Steven’s answers.In his opinion,there are some broader implications on the long run.Much research on Chinese Internet and political participation focuses on high-stakes confrontatons.What’s more,what about use of Internet to facilitate policymaking as it is ordinarily carried out?And how information technology plays as an instrument of incremental evolution in Chinese policymaking?

Mou Yi (speaker 5)

Mou reviews literature on “folk culture and popular culture”, and then moves to “online folk culture”. Another key concept of YI’s speech is Media Ecology, which in Chinese tradition focuses on common people’s interests in supporting folk culture.She pointed out it’s ironic that Chinese folk organizations always started from the form of folk culture,while ended up within the market economy.What’s the reasons?She mentioned that,Chinese policy does not provide the environment,and global economic downturn deteriorates the communication environment for Chinese folk culture.Besides,Chinese people are not used to the idea of donating to support folk culture.

Randy Kluver gave thanks to the presenters and made a short comment on the presentations.He found it interesting to talk about Chinese Internet.Randy Kluver said 4 “beyonds”and some questions.As events make history,there are still much more events uncovered by history.While specific technology shakes our life,how does it challenge the social construct?Will the specific technology leads to a better Government?And how does the Internet challenge the social relations?

Session 2 :ICT Infrastructure and Public Administration

Xue Hong (speaker 1)

Xue took a glance at the History of Chinese domain names as a begining.It is on Nov.28 1990that CN domain was registerted.On base of the general observations of Chinese domain names(CDNs),Xue found that,on one hand,CDNs have great potential,and market will be more competitive,transparent and open.But on the other hand,Government is enforcing stricter measures.What’s more,the Sovereign act is potencially conflicting with the DNS under oversigh of ICANN.After all,China plays an important role in the international domain system.

Hong Yu(speaker 2)

At the beginning of the presentation,Hong reviewed the background of China’s export-dependent growth  model.And then she mentioned the 3G telecom networks and ICT-based economic recovery.Finally,Hong came up with the idea that China’s dominant carriers had some success in commercializing a homegrown technology.

Hu Ling(speaker 3)

Hu gave a general presentation on topics as followings:Information infrastructure in China;Great Firewall and Golden Shield;Net Neutrality Theory and its application in Chinese context;

Administrative Vertical Integration and the SARFT;The future of the Internet in China.

Zhen Meiling(speaker 4)

Zhen pointed out that,Internet reguliation and Penal Code are the main laws to limit the online pornography in China.She took Google as an example.What if Google chose to stay in mainlang China?In Zhen’s opinion,the website could be shut down,and top executives could be arrested and jailed for disseminating obscene articles online.Last but not least,the top Executives may be life imprisonment!Zhen made a summerise that,recent campaigns anginst online pornography is still going on,and a lot of websites will be affected and shut down.

Session4:Cybercultures,Activitism and Nationlism in China

Hu Yinan(speaker 1)

Hu Yinan, who comes from the Cover Story and China Daily, gave a presentation named Swimming against the tide: Tracing and locating Chinese leftism online. He explores the resurgence of Chinese leftism online, its historical rationale, characteristics, scopes of influence, space for survival, contributions and limitations, and prospective implications.Finally, he came up with a conclusion:” The present online Chinese leftism is a practical necessity rather than a choice made by its members.”

Wu Changchang(speaker 2)

“Who is using ‘shanzhai’ word? Why internet? Why shanzhai word?Is it a rise of the urban petite bourgeois?” Wu began his presentation with these questions related to “shanzhai”, ie copycat. He tries to  examine the use of Shanzhai word by netizens and its political and economic implications, demonstrates how the distinctive uses of Shanzhai word reflect and emanate from the cleavages between the haves and the have-nots, or the class stratification.A lot of recent examples that illustrated in his presentation attract much attention.

Zhao Yu(speaker 3)

Zhao gave a talk on the topic of Human Flesh Searching Engine, which has emerged in cyberspace since 2001 as a particular collective activism. She makes a brief description of the process from its emergence as just promulgating an online order in search of some particular guys including the lost relatives and friends, to its developments into the netizens movements with its unique searching model of “one question, countless response” and “online combining with offline” to seize out the corrupt officials, and in particular the “betrayers” who ran counter to the principle of nationalism and nation—state.

Lai Yun(speaker 4)

Via virtual ethnographic research into the Chinese female participants’ performance in the virtual communities of which the main topic is their Korean idols, Lai tries to examine how these women developed their identity through the online practice and, in the contexts of the ups and downs of Sino-Korean relationship, how the subject of nationalism interacted with this identification process. In her opinion,the Internet could act as either centrifugal or centripetal force in identification process. However, the crisis of identity among “cyborg-vagrants” demands that the netizens to identify their home, hence turning them into ‘cyborg-diasporas’.

Deng Weijia(speaker 5)

As a fan of American TV Series, Deng probes into the “Yi Dian Yuan (the Garden of Eden)” online forum of American sitcoms. How do the members distinguish themselves from others with the same age, or a taste as Bourdieu described that exclusively embodies their unique social status and petit bourgeois disposition appropriated from the western countries?With these questions, She ended up with the conclusion that, the Internet could act as either centrifugal or centripetal force in identification process. So far as the nation-state remains to be the dominant form of political structure, the national identity still plays an important role in those people’s identification process.

Yang Guobin,an honoured respondent who comes from Barnard College and Columbia University, gave a final comment on the presentations. He said that, all the five papers have brought out new perspectives on typical phenomena of Chinese Internet which help us to understand the Internet culture fully. He gave remarks on the presentations one by one.” I love these papers.” Said Yang Guobin.


Session7:Identities and Social Formations

Elisa Oreglia(speaker 1)

In her speech, Elisa Oreglia shared her findings of her continuing field study in Chinese rural regions. She pointed out that when discussing the internet in China, the focus is still often on ‘privileged’ urban users. However, migrant workers are engaged in the internet as enthusiastic as their urban counterparts. Through her participant observation, she discovered that the internet is becoming an important bridge between the city and the countryside. Urban life comes to the countryside increasingly, from the personal experiences of migrants transmitted through new ICT.

Ren Jue(speaker 2)

Ren started her presentation with two questions: How the rural-urban migrant women adopt computer and internet? What is the impact of computer and internet use to their everyday life? Through methodologies like participant observation, in-depth interview and snow-ball sampling,She came up with the idea of Technologycal Intimacy. “Technological Intimacy, would explore more practical and symbolic meanings for the ICTs using in the household moral economy.”Said Ren Jue. Finally, she came to the conclusion: firstly,  migrant Women as active sexual citizen ,  can use internet with the support of cyber friends to negotiate with the local government. Secondly social networking is the strong relation to their civic activities, especially from male cyber friends. Thirdly,  family members are not a strong support to their civic activities, but their computer and internet use is also related to their family value.

Suo Huijun(speaker 3)

Suo Huijun, a Ph.D. student of Purdue University, examined how multi-culture influences conflicts and collaboration in Wikipedia. She discovered that what intensive communication did was more about changing format, bias, presentation strategies and style, rather than solving conflicting views guided by different cultural beliefs.

Silvia Lindtner;Marcella Szablewicz(speaker 4)

Silvia Lindtner and Marcella Szablewicz gave a presentation named In Between Wangba and Elite Entertainment:China’s Many Internets together.” Internet technologies and sites of Internet use in China have undergone rapid transformation over the last ten years.”They mentioned that on the one hand, Internet technologies are praised for their potential to equalize social inequalities. On the other hand, they are critiqued for their potential to exacerbate difference and cause social unrest. They found that Internet users do not consider themselves participants in a single Internet. Rather people act across multiple digital media to engage with like-minded others, to form new identities amidst rapid technological, political and economic changes.

David Kurt Herold(speaker 5)

David Kurt Herold focused on the confrontational online meetings between Chinese and American internet users. Through the online fights between “Rednecks” and “Red Guards”, the young Chinese net users are often blamed for the misunderstanding. But Herold thinks these misunderstandings are merely the surface of deep culture differences between the two parts. Basically, China and the west have different views almost on everything: the West regards history as linear while China believe it cyclical; according to the West, the Chinese people are oppressed by Chinese government, while Chinese people believe themselves are led to prosperity by government. In the end, he called for more detailed studies on encounter patterns between Chinese and non-Chinese.

Wu Jing,a professor from Peking University, gave a comment on the five presentations. She made up a summery by 4 “Beyounds”, which was said to be similar to China Daily on style. Professor Wu said that the papers brought many fresh concepts and ideas for her, and they were really facinating.

Keynote:Yang Guobin

Professor Yang gave a speech about the poetry of the internet in China. He came up with five conclusions: first, there is poetry in Chinese cyberspace. Second, in historical terms, Chinese internet culture is becoming both more poetic and less poetic at the same time. Third, the development of the forms of internet may well be in anti-poetic direction. Fourth, in views of arguments in favor of imposing a universal realname registration system, he suggests that such a  system would damage the poetry of the internet. Finally, real-name registration is just one of the many threats to the poetry of the internet in China, including the crisis of community.

Keynote:Monroe E.Price

Monroe E.Price,the honored guest from University of Pennsylvania,deliverd a long keynote speech named Of Ghost and Vampires: the Emerging Debate Over Internet and Free Expression Discourse. In his speech, Monroe came up with three main points: publication and an effort to push transparency, the invocation of sovereignty, the many Internets approach that sovereignty implies, and the feature of expressing, even badly, Free Expression as an element.  Finally, he said:”Openness, freedom, human rights, sovereignty, cybersecurity,  pluralism—probably not Ghosts and Vampires—these will all redound through various debates.  And, it is possible, but not wholly likely, that Truth will Prevail.”