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Popular Memories of the Mao EraFrom Critical Debate to Reassessing History$
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Sebastian Veg

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9789888390762

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888390762.001.0001

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Contested Past

Contested Past

Social Media and the Production of Historical Knowledge of the Mao Era*

(p.61) 4 Contested Past
Popular Memories of the Mao Era
Jun Liu, Sebastian Veg
Hong Kong University Press

This chapter explores the influence of social media on the (re)formation of social memory and the production of alternative historical knowledge in Chinese society. It investigates several contested debates on Weibo over historical events and figures in the Mao era, arguing that social media embraces a wide variety of diverse individuals as subjects who contribute to various mnemonic practices, facilitates the crowdsourcing and aggregation of alternative narratives of the past as counter-hegemonic discourse, and cultivates the production of historical knowledge as an easily retrievable and re-activatable process. The chapter concludes that the integration of fragmented, individual memories into historical knowledge and the facilitation of diversified mnemonic practices on Weibo re-construct the maintenance and production of historical knowledge in the long run in contemporary China.

Keywords:   Weibo, China, Mao era, alternative historical knowledge, social memory

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