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Freier Diskurs oder perfekter Überwachungsstaat? Identity Work im chinesischen Internet


  • Karsten Giese


The political strife for economic reform and national modernisation has resulted, among others, in privatisation, growing social heterogeneity, individualisation and a declining capacity of the Chinese Communist Party to assert ideological leadership. In the struggle for political hegemony the CCP has always regarded it crucially important to control both behaviour of Chinese citizens and the contents of the media. Communication forums on the Internet can be viewed as popular spaces for interaction and, at the same time, as media containing a wide variety of contents. Hence, heterodox Internet discourses in the field of collective identities competing with the uniform model of national identity that has been promoted by the CCP may challenge the party's political hegemony. This article explores the CCP's capacity for controlling and policing communicative Internet usage on the one hand and coun\-ter-strat\-egies of Chinese Internet users on the other. It is argued that, although the party state has successfully established panoptical structures for the Internet, Chinese netizens have been able to evade enforcement and to create considerably free spaces for heterodox discourses. Alternative collective identities are constructed, but do not yet pose a serious threat to CCP hegemony.

Suggested Citation

  • Karsten Giese, 2005. "Freier Diskurs oder perfekter Überwachungsstaat? Identity Work im chinesischen Internet," Journal of Current Chinese Affairs - China aktuell, Institute of Asian Studies, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg, vol. 34(1), pages 35-52.
  • Handle: RePEc:gig:chaktu:v:34:y:2005:i:1:p:35-52

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