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ERIC Number: EJ1160385
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Mar
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1474-8479
Active Citizens, Good Citizens, and Insouciant Bystanders: The Educational Implications of Chinese University Students' Civic Participation via Social Networking
Ke, Lin; Starkey, Hugh
London Review of Education, v12 n1 p50-62 Mar 2014
This virtual ethnographic study explores how Chinese university students use social network sites (SNSs) to participate in civic activities. An ideal of "active" citizens is contrasted with good citizens (Crick) and insouciant bystanders. We find that students engage with the civic issues embedded in everyday life; their online civic preferences are often linked to their course of study; their participation may involve overcoming technological controls; and they have difficulty in translating their interest in life-politics (Giddens) from online to offline. We conclude that in China SNSs do open up space for civic participation by youth, but do not yet constitute an idealized public sphere (Habermas). Thus, there is a need to develop citizenship education that encourages young people to reflect on their online practice and develop critical online and offline civic participation.
UCL IOE Press. UCL Institute of Education, University of London, 20 Bedford Way, London, WC1H 0AL, UK. Tel: +44-20-7911-5565; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: China (Beijing)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A