This study aims to investigate how Snowden’s revelations are viewed by young people in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and Taiwan through questionnaire surveys of and follow-up interviews with university students in the two countries, taking into account the histories and current status of state surveillance in these countries and the current complicated and delicate cross-strait relationships.
Questionnaire surveys of 315 PRC and 111 Taiwanese university students (a majority studying in those places but a few studying abroad) and semi-structured follow-up interviews with 16 master’s course students from the PRC and one from Taiwan (all studying at Meiji University in Japan) were conducted, in addition to reviews of the literature on privacy and state surveillance in the PRC and Taiwan. The outcomes of the survey were statistically analysed and qualitative analyses of the interview results were also performed.
Youngsters living in the PRC had greater interest in and more knowledge about Snowden’s revelations than those living in Taiwan, and the revelations were positively evaluated in both countries as serving public interest. However, PRC students indicated they were less likely to emulate Snowden than those from Taiwan did.
This study is the first attempt to investigate the social impact of Snowden’s revelations on PRC and Taiwanese youngsters’ attitudes towards privacy and state surveillance as part of cross-cultural analyses between eight countries.
This study was supported by the MEXT (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan) Programme for Strategic Research Bases at Private Universities (2012-16) project “Organisational Information Ethics” S1291006 and the JSPS Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B) 15H03385, (B) 25285124 and (B) 24330127. The authors appreciate the cooperation for developing the questionnaire and conducting the surveys provided by Ana Maria Lara Palma, Jessica Chai, Chen Xuan, Duan Xiongfang, Iheng Lirong, Jiang Xinghao, Wang Yang, Wei Yi and Zhang Ao.
Murata, K., Fukuta, Y., Adams, A.A. and Ronghua, D. (2017), "How Snowden’s revelations have influenced youngsters’ attitude and behaviour in the PRC and Taiwan", Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, Vol. 15 No. 3, pp. 213-231. https://doi.org/10.1108/JICES-08-2016-0025Download as .RIS
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