The Sent-Down Internet: Using Information and Communication Technologies in Rural China
Call for Papers Date:
In the past few years, there has been real growth in the number of Internet users in rural China, where a combination of improvement in infrastructure, increase in disposable incomes, and wider availability of computers and smart phones is creating an environment conducive to more widespread adoption of the Internet and ICT in general. While news media have paid attention to this phenomenon, often characterizing rural users as "problematic" users, scholarly research remains insufficient when it comes to ICT expansion and its impact on the daily lives of rural residents, especially from socio-scientific perspectives.
This special issue of the Chinese Journal of Communication aims at challenging the image of the "backward" rural Internet, and at presenting the active, creative, and engaging use and adaptation of ICT that is actually occurring in rural China, in order to redefine the consequences and usefulness of ICT in the context of official rural informatization (xinxihua) efforts.
We are looking for submissions on all aspects of ICT use in rural China. Possible topics include:
1. ICT use among rural residents, especially in family or community contexts
2. Gender and ICT in the countryside
3. Critical assessments of projects to promote the use of ICT among rural residents
4. Tele-centers and other government initiatives to spread the use of ICT
5. ICT and rural institutions (NGOs, local governments, etc.)
6. ICT and small- medium-size businesses in rural areas
7. ICT for health or educational purposes
8. Gaming and digital entertainment in the countryside
9. The role played by ICT, compared to older media, such as television and radio, in bringing content to the countryside
10. Distribution channels that bring ICT to the countryside
We seek both qualitative and quantitative research, as well as papers that present early findings from researchers currently engaged in fieldwork. Papers that present cross-disciplinary research, critical reflections on methods, and detailed discussions of the specific challenges of doing fieldwork in rural China are particularly welcome. The planned publication date is the March issue of CJC in 2015. Submissions should conform to the editorial guidelines of the Chinese Journal of Communication found athttp://www.informaworld.com/cjoc under "Instructions for Authors". Papers for consideration in this special issue should be submitted online as usual but should indicate they are intended for inclusion in the special issue.
Elisa Oreglia, Ph.D.
U.C. Berkeley School of Information
Guest Editor, Chinese Journal of Communication
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