Environmental Activism, Social Media, and Protest in China: Becoming Activists over Wild Public Networks builds upon existing social movement scholarship in communication studies, China studies, and sociology by analyzing China’s vibrant contemporary environmental protests. Using news reports, social media feeds, and conversations with witnesses and participants in the protests, Elizabeth Brunner examines three important antiparaxylene (PX) protests: the 2007 protests in Xiamen, the 2011 protests in Dalian, and the 2014 protests in Maoming. Brunner argues for the treatment of protests as forces majeure and asserts the legitimacy of wild public networks. Brunner stresses that scholars must take a networked approach to social movements as new media become valid platforms for furthering social change, especially in areas where censorship is common.
Introduction: The Entangled Environments of Degradation and Activism
Chapter 1: The Environmental Impacts of China’s “Opening”: A Rising Culture of Protest
Chapter 2: Social Movements over Wild Public Networks
Chapter 3: Social Movements as Force Majeure: Xiamen’s 2007 PX Protest
Chapter 4: The Disappointment in Dalian
Chapter 5: Maoming: Networks of Corruption and Activism
Conclusion: Force Majeure: Understanding Social Media, Social Movements, and Rhetoric as Force
Elizabeth Brunner is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication, Media, and Persuasion at Idaho State University.