The Internet and digital media have become conduits and locales where hundreds of millions of Chinese share information and engage in creative expression and social participation. Yet, compared to their growing prevalence and significance, research on the contingent, non-linear, and sometimes paradoxical impacts of digital media and technologies in Chinese societies remain theoretically underdeveloped and empirically understudied. Departing from previous studies centered on censorship or online activism, this conference casts a wider net and explores how people navigate, negotiate, and transform social landscapes rooted in the Chinese context, revealing both the power and limitations of the Internet and other digital media and communication technologies.
This conference seeks to update prevailing theoretical frameworks and revisit the prosumption patterns of digital media and their implications for globalization, transnational networks and public life. Calling for theory-driven empirical research with scholarly and policy relevance, it gathers scholars from Asia, Europe, and North America to present and discuss diverse theoretical and methodological approaches, especially interdisciplinary and comparative research on digital media access and use, transnational/global networks, and civic engagement in China.