“I Feel Affronted by His Smile!”: Chinese Netizen Reactions to State-Promoted Star-Making in the Case of Tenzing Tsondu
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To elucidate how Chinese netizens reacted to the state promotion of the Tibetan young idol (Tenzing Tsondu), this study analyzed 2,000 posts from Zhihu, a biggest question-and-answer website in China. The analysis shows that 1) netizens generated dissidence by poaching the mainstream discourse; 2) netizens imaginarily instrumentalized Tenzing for political use, which were characterized with nationalistic and racist discourse; 3) repulsion to entertainment served as a way to convey civil spirit to resist media hegemony. This article thus contributes to a better understanding of Chinese online dissidence, online political expressions, and the convergence of entertainment and cyber-politics.
Zhihu, Online dissidence, Online political expression, Ethnic minority, Fandom