From "Silent Minority" to Collective Protests in Real Life: Tension, Resistance and Online Identity Discourse of Overseas Chinese

Aimei Yang (1)
(1) University of Oklahoma, USA , United States


This study examines how overseas Chinese in the U.S used their online narratives to articulate their individual identities, and to form a shared group identity. What is more, during April 2008, rallies and protests were organized by these online discussion groups. The analysis of participants’ narratives demonstrates the emancipatory potential of the Internet, that is, online discussion helps members of a marginalized group form a united identity to resist existing power, and to facilitate their collective actions in the real world.

The narrative analysis also shows that although individuals are empowered by the online discussions, and are privileged to question any social or political issue, their choices of standing point are shaped by their social positions and cultural background. The constraining factors (socioeconomic position, cultural background, reality tensions, etc.), through online discourse, are gradually transformed into the common ground of overseas Chinese’s online group identity.

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Aimei Yang (Primary Contact)
Author Biography

Aimei Yang, University of Oklahoma, USA

Aimei Yang. Currently, doctoral student of the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Oklahoma. My study interests mainly focus on intercultural communication and international communication, especially identity related issues. I enjoy my study and learning a lot by sharing my research with others. I have presented papers in international, national and regional communication conferences.

Yang, A. (2010). From "Silent Minority" to Collective Protests in Real Life: Tension, Resistance and Online Identity Discourse of Overseas Chinese. Journal of Intercultural Communication, 10(1), 1–16.

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