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UIC Associate Professor of Communication, receives NCA’s Asian/Pacific American Division Outstanding Book Award

Associate Professor Elaine Yuan,  recently received NCA's Asian/Pacific American Division Outstanding Book Award for her new book, The Web of Meaning: The Internet in a Changing Chinese Society.

Below are a few comments from the reviewers in honor of this award.

The Web of Meaning: the Internet in a Changing Chinese Society uses novel methods and theoretical frameworks to identify and unravel seismic cultural shifts occurring in an increasingly globalizing China through the lens of the internet and internet-based technologies. Using semantic network analysis, natural language topic modeling, and critical discourse analysis, The Web of Meaning elucidates ways in which technology shapes the life worlds of cultural participants as well as how cultural epistemologies inform participants’ thinking around technologically-induced concerns such as privacy/personal data, cyber nationalism, and online markets. For example, the indigenous concept of 私 (si) in Chinese is utilized to map a shifting sense of Self offering “thick description” of how personal and cultural identity are constructed in relational, embodied, gendered, and role oriented ways. Web of Meaning reminds us that rather than abstract and diffuse, the meanings and significance of the internet can only be made sense of in the context of the concrete particulars of the everyday life and lifeworlds of cultural participants. This book, because of its theoretical and methodological rigor, is poised to make a substantial contribution to the field of communication and beyond.