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2010 - American Sociological Association Annual Meeting Pages: unavailable || Words: 15194 words || 
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1. Lei, Ya-Wen. "Chinese Netizens and China’s Democratization:The Political Consequences of the Rise of the Chinese Netizens" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Hilton Atlanta and Atlanta Marriott Marquis, Atlanta, GA, Aug 14, 2010 Online <APPLICATION/PDF>. 2019-04-21 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p409058_index.html>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: This paper aims to appraise China’s democratization by examining the political consequences of the rise of a population that never existed in its past—the 298 million Chinese netizens. I argue for the necessity to reformulate a theory of democratization in the digital era, in which material conditions have been drastically transformed because of the advancement of information technology. I criticize both modernization theory and the conflict oriented theory of democratization for their inadequate theorization of communication. Previous research on China’s democratization indicates that both of the theories cannot explain and predict the Chinese case well since all of the potential actors alluded to by these two theories haven’t become autonomous from the Chinese state in the process of economic development. My statistic analysis supports this line of critique, demonstrating that class-based approaches fail to establish the relations between China’s democratization with any specific social class. In the meanwhile, I successfully demonstrate the superiority of a communication-centered approach to theory of democratization by showing the relations between the rise of Chinese netizens and demand for democracy, which is conceptualized as the willingness of citizens to bridge the gap between citizen’s normative and realistic views on democracy. This is the first piece of evidence in the literature based on representative survey data that can unequivocally establish the relations between the rise of the Chinese netizens and China’s democratization. This paper contributes to the empirical debate over the significance of Chinese netizens in China’s political development as well as theories of democratization.

2013 - Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Pages: unavailable || Words: 6499 words || 
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2. Lu, Yanqin. "Netizens Overlook "Official Frames" in China? A Framing Analysis of Online news and Micro-blogging Posts" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, Renaissance Hotel, Washington DC, Aug 08, 2013 Online <APPLICATION/PDF>. 2019-04-21 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p671367_index.html>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: This framing analysis study examined China’s online news and micro-blogging posts on the disputes on Dioayu/Senkaku Islands. Compare to online news, micro-blogging users were more likely to put a human face and make moral judgments on the issue. Within the micro-blogging network, public figures tended to employ thematic frame while news media users preferred episodic frame. Pearson correlation test determined that public figures have a significant impact on the general users in the micro-blogging network.

2014 - Annual Scientific Meeting of the International Society of Political Psychology Words: 249 words || 
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3. Yang, Sijia., Xu, Jinghong. and Qi, Jiayin. "Will Chinese Government’s Online Censorship Boomerang? The Effects of Perceived Censorship Attempt Initiated by Different Sources on Rumor Processing, Spreading and Evaluation of Government among Chinese Netizens" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Annual Scientific Meeting of the International Society of Political Psychology, Ergife Palace Hotel, Rome, Italy, Jul 04, 2014 <Not Available>. 2019-04-21 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p727393_index.html>
Publication Type: Paper (prepared oral presentation)
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Scholars are increasingly concerned about the quality of available information on the cyberspace and its implications for public opinion formed online. Information of low quality such as misleading and exaggerated claims may significantly undermine the health and function of the “market of ideas” once it gets propagated and accepted by a critical mass, leading to public opinions grounded in a distorted picture of social reality. In countries lacking democratic traditions, online censorship policies might further worsen the situation by stimulating reactance.
China’s virtual public sphere is susceptible to negative consequences of low-quality information and online censorship, which as currently adopted and constantly reinforced by the Chinese government might inadvertently encourage more internalization and re-transmission of ungrounded rumors. On the other hand, since online censorship is for the most part implemented by commercial Internet service providers (e.g. Sina.com), the credibility bonus these providers enjoy might render censoring rumors acceptable to Internet users, hence curbing the spreading of potentially false information.
Using a between-subject randomized experiment, to our best knowledge this study provides the first set of empirical evidence speaking to the causal effects of perceived censorship attempt on rumor processing, re-transmission intentions and evaluation of government in China. We found that government-initiated censorship had systematically different effects than website-initiated censorship, resulting in more anger, perceived freedom threat, and in some cases perceived higher influences on others and negative evaluation towards the government. However, perceived censorship attempt by both sources did not seem to affect Chinese Internet users’ intention for message transmission.

2016 - American Political Science Association Annual Meeting Pages: unavailable || Words: unavailable || 
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4. Woods, Jackson. "Netizens, Nationalism, and New Media: Online Foreign Policy Discourse in China" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association Annual Meeting, TBA, Philadelphia, PA, Sep 01, 2016 <Not Available>. 2019-04-21 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1125822_index.html>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: This project examines the relationship between online public opinion and state propaganda on foreign policy issues in China. Can the public challenge the Chinese state on foreign policy issues under the conditions of media control currently prevailing in the PRC? In contrast to perspectives that emphasize censorship, I argue that the Chinese public is capable of offering meaningful, independent discourse, but only when the issue at hand is of nationalist significance and state propaganda is unfocused or absent. State dominance of the discourse is a common, but not inevitable, outcome. However, the occurrence of new events and the ongoing media cycle make this an iterative process. As events on the ground change and public perceptions shift, both citizens and propaganda officials may find themselves facing new political incentives. Varying configurations of nationalist salience, the coherence of propaganda efforts, and the public’s approval or disapproval for state handling of the issue thus predict not only the type of discourse we observe on the Chinese Internet – including independent, state dominated, contested, and others – but also the eventual state response: tolerance, repression, or concession.

Sources for this research include millions of individual posts collected from the Sina Weibo social media service, thousands of individual commercial media articles, and background interviews with area experts and media professionals. The social media posts and articles were collected between 2013 and 2015 and cover important foreign policy events such as China’s territorial dispute with Japan in the East China Sea and the Russian occupation and annexation of Crimea. Data from both qualitative and computer-aided content analysis of these sources demonstrates that independent discourse over foreign policy events is not only possible but fairly widespread, even under China’s current media controls. However, the emergence of such discourse and the nature of the eventual state response depend on the three key factors of nationalist relevance, public support, and propaganda effectiveness. This research contributes to our understanding not only of the media and state-society relations in China but also to debates over the role of public opinion in authoritarian states and the nature of nationalism in the PRC.

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