Online book launch: Why we post – Social media in China

By Daniel Miller, University College London

Tue 13 Sep 2016
10:00 pm - 11:00 pm (HKT)



Pharmacist in rural China using smartphone and computer Gillian Bolsover

Join Daniel Miller (Professor of Anthropology, University College London), as he is joined by Xinyuan Wang (UCL Anthropology) and Tom McDonald (HKU Sociology) for a live and interactive discussion streamed on YouTube, and hosted by HKU Sociology.

This discussion marks the launch of two Open Access volumes Social Media in Industrial China and Social Media in Rural China (UCL Press), which details key China findings of the UCL Why We Post project.

Put your own questions to the authors, and hear them discuss their experiences of conducting ethnographic fieldwork on social media use in China, writing their books, and how the unique case of China has implications for understanding social media use around the world.

Time zones

  • Hong Kong: 10 pm – 11 pm HKT (UTC+8 hours)
  • London: 3 pm – 4 pm BST (UTC+1 hour)
  • New York: 10 am – 11 am EDT (UTC-4 hours)
  • Los Angeles: 7 am – 8 am PDT (UTC-7 hours)

About the books

Wang’s Social Media in Industrial China describes social media’s role in the biggest migration in human history, an estimated 250 million Chinese people have left their villages in recent decades to live and work in urban areas. Wang describes  a second migration taking place: a movement from offline to online. As Wang argues, this is not simply a convenient analogy but represents the convergence of two phenomena as profound and consequential as each other, where the online world now provides a home for the migrant workers who feel otherwise ‘homeless’.

McDonald’s Social Media in Rural China argues that social media allows rural Chinese people to extend and transform their social relationships by deepening already existing connections with friends known through their school, work or village, while also experimenting with completely new forms of relationships through online interactions with strangers. By juxtaposing these seemingly opposed relations, rural social media users are able to use these technologies to understand, capitalise on and challenge the notions of morality that underlie rural life.

Tom McDonald

Main Language