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postgraduate thesis: Holistic model of online deliberative communication : an analysis of social media in China

TitleHolistic model of online deliberative communication : an analysis of social media in China
Authors
Issue Date2017
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Jia, X. [贾昕玏]. (2017). Holistic model of online deliberative communication : an analysis of social media in China. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR.
AbstractWith the popularity of social media, some scholars anticipate that the platform can facilitate online deliberation. Online deliberative communication has been a widely studied topic but most previous research only examines its underlying procedures and conditions in a piecemeal manner rather than in a holistic approach. And only few studies investigate the quality of deliberative communication on social media platform systematically. It is therefore essential to explore a model for the understanding of the procedural factors for online deliberation, especially when the model is contextualized in a research setting of Chinese social media. This study has three objectives: First, I review existing literature in relation to deliberative communication comprehensively, including both offline and online deliberation, and construct a socio-technical model for informal online political discussion, which can be generalizable to a variety of political systems, nations or platforms. Four layers are derived in the model: political and media background, platform, participants, and discussion procedure. Second, on the basis of the model, I develop a holistic coding scheme for the evaluation of deliberative communication on Sina Weibo. The coding scheme is mainly based on participants (personal predisposition and characteristics) and discussion procedures (attraction, organization, and outcome). Whether or not the discussion content is related to public issue, equality, rationality, interaction, and common ground are measured. Third, I evaluate the quality of online discussion on Sina Weibo in relation to two selected cases: universal two-child policy and “circuit breaker” mechanism in China. Through analyzing microblog contents of four datasets, this study obtained the following results: 1) Some indicators for online deliberative communication, such as public issue, reciprocity and incivility, remain stable in the 10-day study period, whereas attitude, source, emotion, and justification change with time; 2) The levels of online deliberation via posting and commenting are different. Sina Weibo seems to work like a platform for informal policy discussion. In posts, public issue, relevance, source, and civility are maintained at comparatively high level, while reciprocity, emotion, and justification needs further researches. The comments work as a type of discussion, and compensate the lack of reciprocity in posts. Compared with posts, comments appear to exhibit fewer indictors for deliberative communication. In addition, the deliberative level of posts and comments is influenced by discussed topics. 3) The influences of platform features are reflected in public issue, justification, and interaction atmosphere. 4) Level of online deliberation is associated with participant’s personal disposition and characteristics. The proportion of people’s previous online public issue related activities is positively associated with the proportion of discussing public issue, using hyperlink and citing source in study period. If celebrity is involved, the post content is more likely to associate with public issue, hyperlink, and source. Based on the above findings, I suggest that Chinese social media platform has potential to work as a platform for informal political discussion. Sina Weibo has fulfilled certain requirements of public sphere and can contribute to the construction of public sphere, but many areas are needed to further be developed.
DegreeMaster of Philosophy
SubjectChina - Online social networks
Dept/ProgramJournalism and Media Studies Centre
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/241421
HKU Library Item IDb5864195

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorJia, Xinle-
dc.contributor.author贾昕玏-
dc.date.accessioned2017-06-13T02:07:49Z-
dc.date.available2017-06-13T02:07:49Z-
dc.date.issued2017-
dc.identifier.citationJia, X. [贾昕玏]. (2017). Holistic model of online deliberative communication : an analysis of social media in China. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR.-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/241421-
dc.description.abstractWith the popularity of social media, some scholars anticipate that the platform can facilitate online deliberation. Online deliberative communication has been a widely studied topic but most previous research only examines its underlying procedures and conditions in a piecemeal manner rather than in a holistic approach. And only few studies investigate the quality of deliberative communication on social media platform systematically. It is therefore essential to explore a model for the understanding of the procedural factors for online deliberation, especially when the model is contextualized in a research setting of Chinese social media. This study has three objectives: First, I review existing literature in relation to deliberative communication comprehensively, including both offline and online deliberation, and construct a socio-technical model for informal online political discussion, which can be generalizable to a variety of political systems, nations or platforms. Four layers are derived in the model: political and media background, platform, participants, and discussion procedure. Second, on the basis of the model, I develop a holistic coding scheme for the evaluation of deliberative communication on Sina Weibo. The coding scheme is mainly based on participants (personal predisposition and characteristics) and discussion procedures (attraction, organization, and outcome). Whether or not the discussion content is related to public issue, equality, rationality, interaction, and common ground are measured. Third, I evaluate the quality of online discussion on Sina Weibo in relation to two selected cases: universal two-child policy and “circuit breaker” mechanism in China. Through analyzing microblog contents of four datasets, this study obtained the following results: 1) Some indicators for online deliberative communication, such as public issue, reciprocity and incivility, remain stable in the 10-day study period, whereas attitude, source, emotion, and justification change with time; 2) The levels of online deliberation via posting and commenting are different. Sina Weibo seems to work like a platform for informal policy discussion. In posts, public issue, relevance, source, and civility are maintained at comparatively high level, while reciprocity, emotion, and justification needs further researches. The comments work as a type of discussion, and compensate the lack of reciprocity in posts. Compared with posts, comments appear to exhibit fewer indictors for deliberative communication. In addition, the deliberative level of posts and comments is influenced by discussed topics. 3) The influences of platform features are reflected in public issue, justification, and interaction atmosphere. 4) Level of online deliberation is associated with participant’s personal disposition and characteristics. The proportion of people’s previous online public issue related activities is positively associated with the proportion of discussing public issue, using hyperlink and citing source in study period. If celebrity is involved, the post content is more likely to associate with public issue, hyperlink, and source. Based on the above findings, I suggest that Chinese social media platform has potential to work as a platform for informal political discussion. Sina Weibo has fulfilled certain requirements of public sphere and can contribute to the construction of public sphere, but many areas are needed to further be developed. -
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.subject.lcshChina - Online social networks-
dc.titleHolistic model of online deliberative communication : an analysis of social media in China-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5864195-
dc.description.thesisnameMaster of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelMaster-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineJournalism and Media Studies Centre-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-

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