Philanthropy on the Move: Mobile Communication and Neoliberal Citizenship in China

Yu, H 2017, 'Philanthropy on the Move: Mobile Communication and Neoliberal Citizenship in China', Communication and the Public, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 35-49.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Philanthropy on the Move: Mobile Communication and Neoliberal Citizenship in China
Author(s) Yu, H
Year 2017
Journal name Communication and the Public
Volume number 2
Issue number 1
Start page 35
End page 49
Total pages 15
Publisher Sage
Abstract This essay examines the phenomenon of embodied philanthropy on the move, with a focus on the WeRun (weixin yundong, an add-on to Weixin) for charity initiative. It analyzes key features of mobile-enabled micro and handy philanthropy that is at the same time on the move and examines its cultural and political implications on Chinese society. It also critiques embodied philanthropy, which is a market-driven, consumer-empowered, and individualistic form of bodily improvement or engagement in the name of charity. It points out that philanthropy on the move is used as a platform to educate, nurture, and realize neoliberal citizenship, which is managed, sponsored, and aspired by the Chinese state, the private sector, and individuals. It argues that cultivating neoliberal citizenship through micro, individual, and highly mediated activities (via volunteering and handy philanthropy) can displace criticism of the Party-state and disinterest people from participating in social actions on the ground. But it also has the potential to transcend the dichotomies of altruism versus self-interest or state versus society.
Subject Asian Cultural Studies
Media Studies
Communication Technology and Digital Media Studies
Keyword(s) China
embodied philanthropy
handy philanthropy
neoliberal citizenship
WeRun
Weixin
DOI - identifier 10.1177/2057047317693634
Copyright notice © The Author(s) 2017
ISSN 2057-0473
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