Ariel Hsian-Au Hsiung Humanities and Social Science
Sichuan Earthquake: Civil Society or Participant Culture?
My project is a study of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake in China. I have chosen the Sichuan crisis to examine because the Chinese state’s fast and transparent reaction to the earthquake was both surprising and contrary to traditional expectations. My research seeks to answer this fundamental question: has participating in the Sichuan relief efforts changed state-society and society-citizen interactions in China? The wider implication of my project is whether a higher level of participant culture post-Sichuan is an indicator for an emerging civil society in China. I shall approach my research using a combination of theories such as civil society, Chinese nationalism and participatory culture, and empirical studies of media reports during the three month period immediately following earthquake.