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Circumventing the Great Firewall: The Accommodation and Defiance of Internet Censorship among Chinese Students

31 Pages Posted: 3 May 2013 Last revised: 9 Jun 2013

Shijin Zhao

Independent

Yuqi Gu

Independent

Le Kang

Independent

Hao Dang Sr.

University of Macau - Department of Communication

Date Written: April 30, 2013

Abstract

This article examines the attitudes, motivation and behaviors of Chinese college students towards China Internet censorship, and their utilization of circumvention tools to bypass the government Internet blockage, thereby making free connections with the outside world. The current study is a qualitative study based on in-depth interviews with 12 Chinese college students from different parts of China, who have some experience of using circumvention tools. Drawing upon the Uses and Gratification theory and everyday resistance, it is argued that circumvention tools usage, for Chinese college students, is a practical action to resist China’s sophisticated Internet censorship, by which they perform the “anti-agenda setting”. It is also revealed that circumvention is closely correlated with the students’ sense of civil society, human rights, democracy, and more political participation.

Keywords: Internet censorship, circumvention, uses and gratification theory, Chinese college students

Suggested Citation

Zhao, Shijin and Gu, Yuqi and Kang, Le and Dang, Hao, Circumventing the Great Firewall: The Accommodation and Defiance of Internet Censorship among Chinese Students (April 30, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2258659 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2258659

Shijin Zhao

Independent

No Address Available

Yuqi Gu

Independent

No Address Available

Le Kang

Independent

Hao Dang Sr. (Contact Author)

University of Macau - Department of Communication ( email )

P.O. Box 3001
Av. Padre Tomas Pereira S.J.
Taipa
Macau

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