You are here

Internet Policy and Use

Title: Internet Policy and Use: A Field Study of Internet Cafes in China.
Name(s): Sun, Hua Lin, author
Hensel, Paul R., outside committee member
Heald, Gary R., committee member
Pashupati, Kartik, committee member
School of Communication, degree granting department
Florida State University, degree granting institution
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2003
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: This study examines the current Internet café phenomenon in a modernizing country – the People's Republic of China. Internet cafes emerged worldwide in the 1990s, and use of the Internet in cafes varies from country to country. This investigation adopts a critical and cultural studies framework to explore the complex relationships among information and communication technology (ICT), the nation state, and the individual user of Internet cafes. Chinese language interviews, observations, and survey research are used to collect data, in addition to the collection of Chinese media and telecommunications policy documents. The Chinese government tries to monitor individual use of the Internet through different means, including technical design, monitoring software, regulations, administrative and legal measures, and continuous political education. Local zoning actions, such as limiting "net bar" business hours, imposing age restrictions on users, assigning café owners the job to watch their customers, running fire prevention programs, "sweeping" bars frequently, and posting regulations in bars, are taken to control and regulate Internet use. In the bar environment, most users, especially youth, perceive the new medium as a way to pass time and to socialize with others. They use the Internet primarily to send email, to play computer games, to chat with others, and to watch movies. Their attitudes toward regulations are ambivalent and ignorant. Additionally, net bar owners and managers serve double roles as regulators as well as the regulated. These contradictory behaviors perhaps reflect a transitory time, when the Chinese Communist culture is in conflict with and co-existing with new capitalist social forms. While there is a widened gap between state use and civilian use in net bars of the Internet technology, the control over and monitoring of Internet use has reinforced the unquestioning compliance with authorities and with the status quo of existing social, economic, and political systems. This may have helped produce political apathy among Internet users, especially young people, whose use of the Internet is observed as largely entertainment oriented.
Identifier: FSU_migr_etd-1503 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Dissertation Submitted to the Department of Communication in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Degree Awarded: Fall Semester, 2003.
Date of Defense: June 20, 2003.
Keywords: Internet policy, Internet usage, China
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory committee: Paul R. Hensel, Outside Committee Member; Gary R. Heald, Committee Member; Kartik Pashupati, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Communication
Persistent Link to This Record:
Owner Institution: FSU

Choose the citation style.
Sun, H. L. (2003). Internet Policy and Use: A Field Study of Internet Cafes in China. Retrieved from