Published online by Cambridge University Press: 22 September 2011
During its structural transformation, rural China witnessed the emergence of four types of village: traditional, industrialized, commercial and villages in cities. Information Communication Technologies (ICTs), including fixed phones, cell phones, television sets and the internet (with personal computers), are now commonly used in Chinese villages but in ways that differentiate villagers according to variables such as occupation, villager membership and social status. The adoption of ICTs by peasants not only represents but also accelerates growing peasant differentiation; in other words, the function of ICTs could not penetrate the barrier of social structure. Meanwhile, structural transformation in China has been an activator to shaping peasants' diversified ideas about information, and the demand for and usage of ICTs. An analysis of peasants' ICT adoption thus enables us to identify the basic trends and characteristics of social transformation in contemporary China.
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9 In our fieldwork we selected two traditional villages, but for reasons of article length just one is described here.
10 The information came from the village committee's official documents.
11 This type of cell phone doesn't have its own brand name and always imitates a brand cell phone's function and style.
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