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      Active citizens, good citizens, and insouciant bystanders: The educational implications of Chinese university students' civic participation via social networking

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          Abstract

          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.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          10430
          London Review of Education
          IOE Press
          1474-8460
          31 March 2014
          : 12
          : 1
          : 50-62
          Article
          1474-8460(20140331)12:1L.50;1- s6.phd /ioep/clre/2014/00000012/00000001/art00006
          10.18546/LRE.12.1.06
          Product
          Categories
          New directions in Chinese educational research

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          London Review of Education
          Volume 12, Issue 1

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