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Tricia Wang on Talking to Strangers: Chinese Youth and Social Media [AUDIO]

February 18th, 2014

When we read about the Chinese internet in the Western press, we usually hear stories about censorship, political repression, and instability. But Chinese youth are actually sharing information and socializing with strangers online much more than those in the West suspect, finding ways to semi-anonymously connect to each other and establish a web of casual trust that extends beyond particularistic guanxi ties and authoritarian institutions.

In this talk, Tricia Wang — visiting scholar at New York University’s Interactive Telecommunication Program and a Berkman Fellow — argues that the activity of Chinese youth online reflects a new form of sociality: an Elastic Self, a new sociality which is laying the groundwork for a public sphere to emerge from ties primarily based on friendship and interactions founded on a casual web of public trust.

More links for Tricia:

  • @triciawang
  • Tricia Wang’s website
  • Tricia’s blog: Ethnography Matters
  • Willow Brugh’s VizThink of Tricia’s Presentation

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