East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society

January 24, Linzhuo Li, “Politics Beyond the Ocean: Ideological upheaval and community metabolism in China’s cyber space”


East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society presents

  Politics Beyond the Ocean: Ideological upheaval and community metabolism in China’s cyber space”

Linzhuo Li

PhD student, Department of Sociology

University of Chicago

4:30-6:00p.m., Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Pick Lounge, 5828 South University Ave.

*Light refreshments will be served*


This research analyzes the political debates of U.S. Presidential Election on “Zhihu”, one of China’s top online knowledge sharing communities and aims to explain why the dominant voices in the community turned from pro-liberal before the election to pro-conservative after. Using community detection methods, the research discovers three ideologically distinct groups: pro-liberal, pro-conservative, and mixed-nationalism. The research also finds that the ideological divergence corresponds with user’s community status. The pro-liberal group is mainly of “big VIP” users, featuring a friendship network while the pro-conservative group has mostly ordinary users, featuring a mobilization network. Finally, by tracing the interactions among key answerers and their user life histories, the research tries to form an explanation based on community politics and user metabolism to understand this online political upheaval.

About the Speaker

Linzhuo Li is a 3rd year PhD student in the Department of Sociology. He is interested in using network analysis and content analysis to understand dynamics of online community. He is also interested in sociology of finance, especially about local financial transformation in China, a project that may take him several years to finish. In addition, he is currently also involved in a computational content analysis project, with his colleague Shilin Jia, tracking changing economic rhetoric in 60 years of the People’s Daily.

*To see the full Winter 2017 schedule: Winter Schedule

Faculty sponsors:

Xi Song (Sociology) Dali Yang (Political Science) Dingxin Zhao (Sociology)

The East Asia Workshop is sponsored by the Council on Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences. Persons with disabilities who believe they may need assistance please contact the student coordinator in advance.



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