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Title: Virtual communities as subaltern public spheres: A theoretical development and an application to the Chinese internet
Authors: Zhang, W. 
Issue Date: 2012
Abstract: The purpose of this work is to develop a theoretical framework to examine virtual community participation using the concept of subaltern public spheres. The theory of subaltern public spheres directs attention to the internal dynamics and external interaction of virtual communities. Internal dynamics first refers to the inclusiveness of participation by looking at the access to virtual communities and the profiles of their participants. The nature of participation, as another aspect of internal dynamics, is estimated through examining the styles of the discourses and the types of participatory acts. The external interaction becomes another major focus of this theoretical framework and urges researchers to study how virtual communities interact with government apparatuses, commercial entities, the dominant public sphere, and other subaltern public spheres through discursive engagement and other means. The theoretical framework is applied to analyze a case of Chinese online public spheres to illustrate the framework's utility. © 2012, IGI Global.
Source Title: Virtual Community Participation and Motivation: Cross-Disciplinary Theories
ISBN: 9781466603127
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0312-7.ch009
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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