The Politics of Internet Countercultures in China: 2009-2019

The Politics of Internet Countercultures in China: 2009-2019

Speaker: Prof. Chang Jiang, Ph.D., School of Journalism and Communication, Tsinghua University

Date: Tuesday 11 February

Time: 10:15-11:30

Venue: Topelia Room A118, University of Helsinki

The lecture adopts a critical discourse analysis in combination with in-depth interviews of young people as it examines three representative cases of online cultural resistance among Chinese youth from 2009 to 2019, in order to define the formats, strategies and tactics of these cultures in relation to the broader mainstream political culture. The research finds that the resistance employs tactics of homophony and neologism made possible by the highly contextual Chinese language; the participants are aware of the appropriation of traditional Confucian ethics by the Party-state to legitimize its rule and devise targeted strategies of resistance accordingly; but their cynical attitude towards the dominant political culture prevents them from affecting real political change beyond mere defiance at the semiotic level.

Chang Jiang, Ph.D., is currently associate professor and Ph.D. program director at School of Journalism and Communication, Tsinghua University. He holds a Ph.D. on communication studies from Tsinghua University and Northwestern University, and has accomplished postdoc research project on sociology at University of Geneva. He is currently working on the politics of digital countercultures in contemporary China. Chang Jiang has published 2 books and over 70 research papers in both English and Chines, and won several awards for his scholarship and academic performances, including Outstanding Young Scholar of the China Communication Academy Awards, Cyrus Tang Scholarship for Outstanding Young Scholars, China’s Most Influential Young Scholar of Humanities and Social Sciences Award, and Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship, etc.