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dc.contributor.advisorStewart, Brandon M
dc.contributor.authorWaight, Hannah Catherine
dc.contributor.otherSociology Department
dc.description.abstractOver the past thirty years the partial commercialization and diversification of news media in China has forced the propaganda apparatus into a puzzle: how to ensure propaganda campaigns reach an increasingly fragmented audience while still maintaining narrative control. To meet this challenge the propaganda apparatus has developed an elaborate bureaucracy to oversee and control media organizations. This bureaucracy coordinates propaganda campaigns through a system of oversight, legislation and rules, and the regular issuance of event-specific instructions. The exercise of these control mechanisms is not uniform, however. This thesis documents substantial heterogeneity in the way the Chinese state coordinates propaganda campaigns, from strict issuance of scripts to ambiguous instructions and guidelines. Contrary to the expectation that propaganda only works when it is uniform in its messaging, I show how the success of state propaganda in China today lies in discordance and discretion: when propaganda is a cage, not a hammer. Drawing on case studies, experimental evidence, and computational analysis of large social media and print media data sets, this thesis demonstrates three mechanisms by which the disunified approach of the Chinese propaganda apparatus works: by making propaganda less visible, less identifiable, and more engaging.
dc.publisherPrinceton, NJ : Princeton University
dc.relation.isformatofThe Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog: <a href=></a>
dc.subjectcontemporary China
dc.titleA Cage Not A Hammer: Why Disunified Media Control Works in Contemporary China
dc.typeAcademic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Appears in Collections:Sociology

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