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Resistance within Contexts:A Study of University BBS Youth Culture in China
Unformatted Document Text:  8 does not mean that the Chinese government looses its control over the young generation completely. In fact, after the Tiananmen Incident, the government strengthened its management of young people, especially college students, in order to prevent similar incidences in the future. The bureaucratic institutions and ideological state apparatuses still hold power (Liu, 1997). Chinese university students are very sensitive to political topics. For example, one of my interviewees, a student from Peking University, asked me to stop recording when he discussed the Tiananmen Incident. Another interviewee, from Tsinghua, told me that Tsinghua students these days no longer discuss ‘topics related to the country.’ He said: Tsinghua does not allow this kind of discussions……because the government’s control is very strict. For instance, a department of our university tried to organize the students to participate in a meeting commemorating ‘the May 8 th Incident,’ 6 but the university didn’t permit this ……Peking University and Tsinghua University are the two top universities in Beijing. If this kind of student gatherings happened, the government must be very worried. The Party doesn’t allow this kind of things. Its control is very strict. That’s why the Communist Youth League committee frequently goes to the BBS; they are inspecting whether this kind of things would happen or not. More directly related to my research on the Chinese university BBSs, the following interviewee from Peking University described how political taboos came into being in the Chinese university BBSs: At the very beginning, there are no taboos in the BBSs. Members can discuss any kind of topics, including politics and so on. There was even a newsgroup on ‘homosexuality’ in SMTH. But it was closed later. There was a very serious incident in SMTH. In 1996, BBSers called on the university students to demonstrate around the Japanese embassy because of the ‘Diaoyu Island’ incident. This event had very big influences on the society and thus made the government began to pay attention to the effects of BBSs. Subsequently, any topic of this kind 6 It refers to NATO’s ‘accidental’ bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade in May 7 th , 1999. On May 8 th , 1999, the biggest demonstration since 1989 occurred in almost all major cities in China, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Hong Kong and so on.

Authors: Dong, Dong.
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8
does not mean that the Chinese government looses its control over the young generation
completely. In fact, after the Tiananmen Incident, the government strengthened its management of
young people, especially college students, in order to prevent similar incidences in the future. The
bureaucratic institutions and ideological state apparatuses still hold power (Liu, 1997).
Chinese university students are very sensitive to political topics. For example, one of my
interviewees, a student from Peking University, asked me to stop recording when he discussed the
Tiananmen Incident. Another interviewee, from Tsinghua, told me that Tsinghua students these
days no longer discuss ‘topics related to the country.’ He said:
Tsinghua does not allow this kind of discussions……because the government’s control is
very strict. For instance, a department of our university tried to organize the students to
participate in a meeting commemorating ‘the May 8
th
Incident,’
6
but the university didn’t
permit this ……Peking University and Tsinghua University are the two top universities in
Beijing. If this kind of student gatherings happened, the government must be very worried.
The Party doesn’t allow this kind of things. Its control is very strict. That’s why the
Communist Youth League committee frequently goes to the BBS; they are inspecting whether
this kind of things would happen or not.
More directly related to my research on the Chinese university BBSs, the following
interviewee from Peking University described how political taboos came into being in the Chinese
university BBSs:
At the very beginning, there are no taboos in the BBSs. Members can discuss any kind of
topics, including politics and so on. There was even a newsgroup on ‘homosexuality’ in
SMTH. But it was closed later. There was a very serious incident in SMTH. In 1996, BBSers
called on the university students to demonstrate around the Japanese embassy because of the
‘Diaoyu Island’ incident. This event had very big influences on the society and thus made the
government began to pay attention to the effects of BBSs. Subsequently, any topic of this kind
6
It refers to NATO’s ‘accidental’ bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade in May 7
th
, 1999. On May 8
th
,
1999, the biggest demonstration since 1989 occurred in almost all major cities in China, including Beijing, Shanghai,
Guangzhou, Chengdu, Hong Kong and so on.


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