The making of an online celebrity: A critical analysis of Han Han's blog

Item Type Journal paper
Abstract In the ‘society of the spectacle', according to Guy Debord, ‘smug acceptance of what exists can also merge with purely spectacular rebellion' and dissatisfaction itself becomes a commodity. Drawing on his reflections on celebrity and the spectacle, this article analyses the highly popular blog of novelist and racing car driver Han Han (born 1982). By doing so, it explores the relation between Han Han's celebrity and his voice as a social critic. The analysis focuses on how Han Han's blog thrives on the combination of his celebrity status and Everyman image; how it contrasts ‘anti-intellectualism' in the tradition of Wang Shuo (born 1958) with elements of literati ideology including moderate loyal criticism and cultural nationalism; and how it negotiates the tension between commercial spectacle and the expression of sociopolitical concerns. The article also argues that unlike citizen journalism, Han Han's blog relies on editorial commentary on hot topics and acts as a ‘safety valve' blog. This article aims to contribute to understanding the rise in China's cybersphere of a celebrity who merges the images of rebel, opinion leader and cultural entrepreneur.
Authors Strafella, Giorgio & Berg, Daria
Journal or Publication Title China Information
Language English
Keywords Internet, political satire, Chinese bloggers, cultural nationalism, anti-intellectual
Subjects cultural studies
HSG Classification contribution to scientific community
Refereed Yes
Date 5 November 2015
Publisher Sage Publ.
Place of Publication London
Volume 29
Number 3
Page Range 352-376
Number of Pages 25
ISSN 0920-203X
ISSN-Digital 1741-590X
Publisher DOI https://doi.org/10.1177/0920203X15608130
Depositing User Dr. Giorgio Strafella
Date Deposited 12 Nov 2015 00:56
Last Modified 20 Jul 2022 17:26
URI: https://www.alexandria.unisg.ch/publications/245332

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Strafella, Giorgio & Berg, Daria (2015) The making of an online celebrity: A critical analysis of Han Han's blog. China Information, 29 (3). 352-376. ISSN 0920-203X

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https://www.alexandria.unisg.ch/id/eprint/245332
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