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From steamed bun to grass mud horse: e gao as alternative political discourse on the Chinese internet

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This article examines e gao (online spoofs) as a popular form of political expression which has recently emerged on the Chinese internet. I first introduce a cultural approach to internet-mediated political communication that emphasizes discursive integration and the mutual constitution of communicative activity and subjectivity. I then discuss how these two dimensions are configured in the specific media ecology in China with regard to the emergence of e gao. I will analyse the political implications of e gao through a close reading of the two most influential cases. Granted that these online spoofs neither qualify as rational debates aiming to achieve consensus nor have produced any visible policy consequences, but they constitute a significant component of civic culture that offers both political criticism and emotional bonding for all participants.

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/36988/

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