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Wuthering Wukan : community communication and social drama in peasant's mass incidents in China /

English Abstract

In the mass incident happened in Wukan, a village in southern China in 2011, the peasants’ protest of local officials and their appeals to redress the grievances at collective level is a case of both universality and individuality for peasants’ resistance. Following an ethnographic approach, this study explores the community communication and the media use in the resistance with the theoretical lens of social drama. The aim of this paper is to interpret the formation of different power relations and underlying dynamics in peasants’ mass incidents, and address the relationship between community communication and protest mobilization in rural China. Four phases of social drama were identified: 1) village anarchy and autonomy, 2) conflict escalation, 3) negotiation and re-election, and 4) reintegration. And it is argued that in the quest to address the issues over land disputes, officials’ corruption and re-election, the villagers’ deft use of the “fourth estate” and “fifth estate” is a stunning way to frame the event, expand the political opportunities, and facilitate community communication.

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Dang, Hao


Faculty of Social Sciences




Local government -- Shan Wei (Kuang Tung Province)


Simpson, Timothy Alan

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