Sijia Yang

Sijia (Steven) Yang is a Ph.D student in the Annenberg School for Communication at University of Pennsylvania. He completed his M.A. in Communication at University
of Illinois at Urbana-­‐Champaign in May 2012. He holds a B.A. in English Literature from the Renmin University of China. Sijia studies how personal influences, in the senses of interpersonal discussions and social network attributes, affect a group of people’s opinions, attitudes, and behaviors in the new media environment, with special attention to issues of public health and environmental protection/protest. In the past, he has written and presented papers in academic conferences on the topic of Internet censorship policy in China. Sijia is developing a three-­‐fold research framework to study issues of his interest: 1) normative reflections bridging between western democratic theories and traditional Confucius sociopolitical philosophies, 2) empirical designs linking normative ideals with actual online political discussions and public opinion formation processes, and 3) new methodological innovations suitable for analyzing large-­‐size and linkage-­‐rich data in the online environment. Currently, he is working on a project examining whether and how perceived censorship among Chinese Internet users may amply or erode deliberative benefits of online political discussions when psychological reactance is triggered.