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Resistance within Contexts:A Study of University BBS Youth Culture in China
Unformatted Document Text:  17 communication can give other members ‘a wider imaginary space.’ As a result, they want to use BBS to attract attentions: Lovers: Face-to-face communication is totally different from BBS communication. Through BBS, you can only use text to communicate with other people; no voice, no image. These purely textual communications can give you a wider imaginary space. Sun: I want to attract other people’s attention……Little by little, going to the BBS becomes a habit. Fifth, since BBS, like all other CMCs, do not need people to provide their real identities, students often take it as a free public forum between equal members: NN: One of my teachers also goes to BBS. I chat with him because I had never chatted with professors in the BBS. We are equal there. For example, I can ‘kick’ him in the BBS, while in real life it is impossible. Pulpfiction: I think we young people are not the main body of our society… Thus we have no power to speak out our opinions in real life. Through BBS, we can express our attitudes toward the society; we can let them to hear our voices. Randall: When there was no BBS, how could you let others know your opinions? You had to find help from newspapers or magazines. It is very difficult to do so, for there is censorship……BBSs give the Chinese young people a chance of not being suppressed any more. Although there still exist some restrictions; some topics are not permitted to discuss in Chinese BBSs; relatively, the restrictions are much looser than before. In sum, the interviewees’ thinking about university BBSs’ values can be grouped into five main categories: distinctive functions, provision of information, safety, display of personal attractions, and being young peoples’ public forums. The last feature is particularly significant. University BBSs provide students the free space to speak out; the anonymity provided in digital networks make it possible for everyone to feel equal. Thus, ‘free’ and ‘equal’ are the most important perceived features of the BBSs. They are the myths constructed by the students when they interact with each other in BBSs.

Authors: Dong, Dong.
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17
communication can give other members ‘a wider imaginary space.’ As a result, they want to use
BBS to attract attentions:
Lovers: Face-to-face communication is totally different from BBS communication.
Through BBS, you can only use text to communicate with other people; no voice, no
image. These purely textual communications can give you a wider imaginary space.
Sun: I want to attract other people’s attention……Little by little, going to the BBS
becomes a habit.
Fifth, since BBS, like all other CMCs, do not need people to provide their real identities,
students often take it as a free public forum between equal members:
NN: One of my teachers also goes to BBS. I chat with him because I had never chatted
with professors in the BBS. We are equal there. For example, I can ‘kick’ him in the
BBS, while in real life it is impossible.
Pulpfiction: I think we young people are not the main body of our society… Thus we
have no power to speak out our opinions in real life. Through BBS, we can express our
attitudes toward the society; we can let them to hear our voices.
Randall: When there was no BBS, how could you let others know your opinions? You
had to find help from newspapers or magazines. It is very difficult to do so, for there is
censorship……BBSs give the Chinese young people a chance of not being suppressed
any more. Although there still exist some restrictions; some topics are not permitted to
discuss in Chinese BBSs; relatively, the restrictions are much looser than before.
In sum, the interviewees’ thinking about university BBSs’ values can be grouped into five
main categories: distinctive functions, provision of information, safety, display of personal
attractions, and being young peoples’ public forums. The last feature is particularly significant.
University BBSs provide students the free space to speak out; the anonymity provided in digital
networks make it possible for everyone to feel equal. Thus, ‘free’ and ‘equal’ are the most
important perceived features of the BBSs. They are the myths constructed by the students when
they interact with each other in BBSs.


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