Networked Ethnicity in Post-2000s China

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedingBook Chapterpeer-review


This chapter reflects on the interaction between the evolving concept of minzu and communication technology in the context of the Sibe community’s social media practices. It underscores the role of these practices in ethnogenesis, the creation of a new ethnic collectivity that is mediated by technology. A novel concept of networked minzu is unveiled, which shapes a unique virtual community based on ethnicity. Here, the Sibe social media group serves as both a site of ethnogenesis and a virtual community, uniting ethnic identity formation and community-building processes. The research embraces the dynamic and contingent nature of minzu, which reflects changing societal norms and power structures. It also highlights the transformative influence of social media platforms, like WeChat, on the co-construction and negotiation of ethnic identity. Despite the potential of social media, technological constraints and their impact on the self-driven process of ethnogenesis are recognized. By employing Deleuze and Guattari’s conception of the rhizome, the study reframes how identity and meaning are constructed within networked spaces. The chapter culminates by revisiting the research’s central contributions, limitations, and potential avenues for future exploration in the realm of social media and subject formation in China.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMinzu as Technology
Subtitle of host publicationEthnic Identity and Social Media in Post 2000s China
Place of PublicationSingapore
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9789819954025
ISBN (Print)9789819954049, 9789819954018
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Social media
  • Subject formation
  • Network society
  • Ethnicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Communication
  • Philosophy


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