Internet Addiction in China: The Battle for the Hearts and Minds of Youth

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This paper analyzes the lifeworld of those labelled "Internet addicts" in China. Contrary to professional belief, such deviant youth are not simply having trouble controlling their Internet use, but, more seriously, with the normal functioning of society. Underneath this existential, ethical, and social crisis is a social-economic-political phenomenon which pivots around the competition-between China's education system expressed through the parents (work), and its consumer society expressed through the online gaming industry (leisure)-for the hearts and minds of transforming and individualizing youth. These "Internet addicts" uncover not individual pathology but the following psycho-social-structural dilemma: citizens cannot live on economic reforms alone.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)687-702
Number of pages16
JournalDeviant Behavior
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2014


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