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Wenhao Bi (Student Researcher)

Wenhao Bi

Supervisors: Dr Nate TkaczLink opens in a new window and Dr Michael DieterLink opens in a new window.

Research Interests

Everyday Practices, Identities and Digital Identities, Politics and Political Involvement, Social Media

Research Topic

My PhD thesis, Participatory perplexities: Everyday politics on Chinese social media platforms, is inspired by a perceived difference between how young Chinese people engage in institutional forms of politics versus everyday politics on social media platforms. This difference brings forward participation on Chinese social media platforms. Participation interrelates the conceptual, the procedural and the experiential aspects in becoming a collective, and participatory perplexities indicate an awakening and political state situated in the gap where the three aspects of participation do not match with each other. Based on the four cases of users' profile pictures of Renren, comments on a videogame playthrough on Bilibili, messages in a WeChat group, and ratings and reviews in two Douban Movie entries, the thesis investigates how social media platforms have shaped the participatory conditions, and how people respond to and interact with these conditions. I argue that participation on Chinese social media platforms produces and is characterised by a variety of participatory perplexities. Participatory perplexities point to the constant concern about one’s belongingness and identity in relation to the collective, but are usually mitigated under an appearance of cohesion.


I hold an MA in Cultural Studies and a BA in Chinese Language and Literature, both awarded from Shanghai University, China. My Master's dissertation portrays the overall image of young Chinese people's political feelings through the case study of the 'Facebook Stickers War'.


Senior Graduate Teaching Assistant 2020-2022

  • IM902 Approaches to the Digital (2020 & 2021)
  • IM933 Media Activism (2021)




  • ‘Doing with/in Digital’, Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies (CIM), 20 August 2019,
  • ‘Where the “Intellectual” Places: With Reference to Podcast Project “Mo Du Ye Ben”’, [“知识人”的位置:从“魔都夜奔”出发], Pseudo-Scholar [学者], 4 September 2017, Blog post



Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies

University of Warwick CV4 7AL

Email: Wenhao dot Bi at warwick dot ac dot uk