UM E-Theses Collection (澳門大學電子學位論文庫)

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Towards a politics of ourselves : Chinese internet celebrity's practices of self-governance

English Abstract

This thesis provides a contextualized analysis of Chinese internet celebrity, that focuses on the undeveloped political dimension of celebrity studies, with a methodological framework of archival research, ethnography and qualitative interviews. This study deals with the question of how self-governance practices are possible under the governmental apparatus and rationality of the Party-state in the People’s Republic of China (henceforth, the PRC); specifically, it considers to what extent and how the performance of the body, the production of creativity, and the practice of carnival are used by Chinese internet celebrities both as a means of “selfcelebritizing” and as a site of self-governance in the PRC. This thesis firstly proposes to undertake a historical background introduction on the internet celebrity in the PRC, illustrating the interrelations between celebrity and forms of governance, and how this relationship is constituted and played out within the specific context of the PRC. The paper then moves to a mixed quantitative and qualitative set of case studies, with three chapters exploring the different forms of selfgovernance practices of Chinese Internet celebrity. It will consider the following questions: firstly, how do internet celebrities deploy the body as a channel of political transgression, and how do they instrumentalize the body in forms of socio-cultural and political activism? Secondly, how do internet celebrities use creative videos as forms of satire, commercial, and precarity? Thirdly, how can we identify, describe, iii characterize and categorize the relationship between internet celebrities and their various audiences? Based on the three case study chapters, the thesis will consider the extent to which the self-governance practices of Chinese Internet celebrities are both informed by and attempt to negotiate with the governing rationality of the Party-state.

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Lin, Zhong Xuan


Faculty of Social Sciences


Department of Communication




Political participation -- Technological innovations -- China

Internet -- Political aspects -- China

Internet -- Social aspects -- China


Liu Shih Diing

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