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Weibo's Role in Shaping Public Opinion and Political Participation in China
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Technology and Aesthetics.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor)Student thesisAlternative title
Weibo's Role in Shaping Public Opinion and Political Participation in China (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

This thesis examines the role of microblogging in shaping public opinion and political participation in China with particular focus on the question of what sociopolitical implications and challenges that weibo phenomenon has brought to the Chinese society. I explore some of the prominent features of weibo for the role they plays in framing public sphere. Along with an in-depth study of two weibo cases, the results show that microblogging provide a unique platform for Chinese citizens to participate in civic engagement and to organize their collective opinions. The study also demonstrates that weibo has a significant impact on spurring social change. Further, weibo discourse encourages interaction between government and ordinary citizens, and it also changes traditional Chinese politics through enabling public political participation. However, the spread of rumors and network violence are some of the disadvantages inherent to the weibo phenomenon that should be of concern. More importantly, the analysis reveals that the initial reasons behind the weibo phenomenon were the long-term social conflicts and continuous information control by the state. Weibo certainly provides a remarkable platform for the freedom of speech but it should not be considered as a panacea for the social changes in China.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 43 p.
Keyword [en]
China, microblogging, weibo, free speech, public opinion, collective voice, political participation, sociopolitical implications
National Category
Computer Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:bth-5790Local ID: diva2:833192
Available from: 2015-04-22 Created: 2014-06-03 Last updated: 2015-06-30Bibliographically approved

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