Virtual Space for the Public: Social Media Discussions on the Chinese Two-child Policy
thesisposted on 08.02.2018, 00:00 by Qiwei Wu
China’s newly implemented two-child policy has profoundly affected every family in China as well as its population structure and economic development. It also created much heated discussion among Chinese citizens on social media. It is critical to understand China’s reproduction policy making by exploring social media and the diverse opinions encouraged by this environment. The objective of this research is to explore how Chinese social media influences public discussion on the two-child policy by exploring various birth-control stakeholders’ discourses online. With semantic network analysis, this study identifies various stakeholders, such as family members, gendered individuals and different social units, as well as interprets the stakeholders’ complex relationships reflected in the discourses. The findings have three major indications: stakeholders’ active discussions online challenge China’s conventional policymaking process; tension revealed by the social media discourse indicates social diversification in China; social media has become an open space for public and private communication.