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Title:Cybercafés in China: Community Access beyond Gaming and Tight Government Control
Author(s):Qiu, Jack Linchaun
Community informatics
Abstract:This article offers a historical overview and critique of cybercafés in China. Four phases of development are introduced: the initial “technological enlightenment” phase of the late 1990s; the turbulent, “crackdown” years after 1999; the new growth period of 2004–2008; and the latest phase of consolidation since 2009. By reviewing the key incidents, players, and official statistics, this paper goes beyond the popular issues of gaming and crackdowns to offer a more comprehensive contextualization and explanation. It interrogates the relationship between the cybercafé and the community, and offers analysis of three fundamental issues—job creation in the community, affordable leisure activities, and youth socialization beyond family. Results from a news discourse analysis are then presented to show how the Chinese press reported on cybercafés from 2000–2009, how their news frames changed, and alternative modes of understanding and operating cybercafés. The paper concludes by presenting the broader implications for community informatics in China that can be drawn from the examination of cybercafés.
Issue Date:2013
Publisher:Johns Hopkins University Press and the Graduate School of Library and Information Science. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Citation Info:In Library trends 62(1) Summer 2013: 121-139.
Publication Status:published or submitted for publication
Rights Information:Copyright 2013 Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois
Date Available in IDEALS:2013-11-21

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