Duanzi as networked practice: How online satire shapes psychological well-being, social support, and issue knowledge for Chinese with different social capital during COVID-19 outbreaks

Ji Pan, Gang Han, Ran Wei

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Abstract

Practices oriented to digital technologies are being invented to change how people cope with crises. This study examines how Chinese netizens’ networked practices (e.g., liking, sharing, or commenting) with COVID-19 related duanzi (short online satires) influenced their psychological well-being, external social support, and issue knowledge during the pandemic. The role of social capital in moderating these relations is explored. Findings from the survey demonstrate that the act of “liking” a COVID-19 duanzi on WeChat has become a routine practice for Chinese netizens to kill time during the quarantine. However, the more bonding social capital one already had, the less they depended on duanzi “liking” to kill their boredom. Those less supported outside the family household, or less knowledgeable about the virus were also more likely to share a COVID-19 duanzi. Bonding social capital promotes one’s well-being, therefore, the positive psychological effect of duanzi sharing or commenting grows more pronounced for netizens with more bonding social capital. Bridging social capital brought external social support. Netizens with more bridging social capital obtained more external support and more COVID-19 knowledge from duanzi sharing. The theoretical and practical implications are elaborated in the conclusions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number9783
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume18
Issue number18
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Sept 2021

User-Defined Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • duanzi
  • social capital
  • health communication

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