Rising technology superpower? Social identity strategies in China’s technology policies

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http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-202106162878
Title: Rising technology superpower? Social identity strategies in China’s technology policies
Author: Reinola, Inka Mari
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Social Sciences
Publisher: Helsingin yliopisto
Date: 2021
Language: eng
URI: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-202106162878
http://hdl.handle.net/10138/331231
Thesis level: master's thesis
Degree program: Globaalin politiikan ja kommunikaation maisteriohjelma
Master's Programme in Global Politics and Communication
Magisterprogrammet i global politik och kommunikation
Specialisation: Media and Democracy
Media and Democracy
Media and Democracy
Abstract: China’s rise in the 21st century has been a widely discussed phenomenon inside and outside the academia. There is a debate on whether China is a status quo or a revisionist state and the impact its influence might have on the world as a whole. One area of China’s rise has not been widely researched in relation to these questions – technology. China’s technological development has increased during the past decades to a level where its technology competence competes with other technologically advanced countries. The fourth industrial revolution has brought about new technologies, such as artificial intelligence, 5G or cyberspace. These technologies also bring forth new questions and challenges, and they require research not only from the technological perspective but also from a social science perspective. This research investigated the Chinese technology policies by looking at materials that included five speeches, two State Council notices, one journal article, and a journal commentary. The themes of the researched materials revolved around overall technology policies, artificial intelligence, cyberspace, and data. This study employed content analysis as its method. The categorization of the social identities derived from the theoretical framework of Chinese social identity strategies which included five different social identity strategies: Globalist China, Sovereign China, Unified China, Sino-centric China, and Rising China. The materials were analyzed by combining two theoretical frameworks – the social identity theory with a particular Chinese social identity theory framework, and constructivism. The social identity theory was originally invented within the field of social psychology but has been used in the study of international relations to understand rising powers. Chinese technology policies were revealed to employ Rising China strategy as their main strategy. Three other social identity strategies – Sino-centric China, Globalist China, and Sovereign China – were also found in the materials, and these revealed interesting points concerning the overall technology strategies. China was found to be balancing between the status quo and a revisionist state status, and the technology themes and the regions they aim to influence seemingly have an impact on which strategies they employ and how these strategies are implemented.
Subject: China
constructivism
social identity theory
technology


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