Global to Village| When Technological Closeness Begets Social Distancing: From Mobile Phones to Wired Radio and a Yearning for the Mass Line in Rural China
Listening does not relate to improved communications in the way peasants are included in China’s digital leap forward. Despite having access to cutting-edge communication technologies, the rural participants of this research find themselves with limited means to be involved in the politics of their village. Hungry for information relevant to participation, local calls for the reinstatement of wired radio and regular meetings in the village of Heyang are informed by memories of Maoist mass line politics. Combining historical analysis with ethnographic fieldwork and reflective listening, this article explores how peasants see discursive engagement as the best means to realize their interests.