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The Internet and the Rise in Self-Empowerment of Chinese Women: A Multi-Method Analysis of Women's Blogs

The Internet and the Rise in Self-Empowerment of Chinese Women: A Multi-Method Analysis of Women's Blogs
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Author(s): Xiao Han (University of Westminster, UK)
Copyright: 2016
Pages: 31
Source title: Overcoming Gender Inequalities through Technology Integration
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Joseph Wilson (University of Maiduguri, Nigeria) and Nuhu Diraso Gapsiso (University of Maiduguri, Nigeria)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9773-7.ch001

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Abstract

Focusing on female Chinese bloggers, this chapter explores the potential of weblogs in the process of female self-empowerment by looking at self-actualisation, construction of social interactions, and the organisation of personal networks. The empirical data used is derived from features analysis of selected female blogs, social network analysis of the relationships between these blogs, and from in-depth interviews with seven female bloggers. This data is complimented by discourse analysis to investigate the communicative purposes of these blogs, and content analysis of selected comments written on the blogs. Overall, the findings show that weblogs help women to become social agents by bringing personal, private and intimate issues onto the public agenda, and by controlling the flow of personal information based on their subjective needs to project a particular identity. However, opportunities for networking between individual bloggers are limited. The processes through which women are empowered as individual actors are also constrained by commercialisation and by traditional norms and gendered cultural stereotypes.

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