China daily as a competing and hybridized discourse : a discourse-analytic approach

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China daily as a competing and hybridized discourse : a discourse-analytic approach

 

Author: Liu, Ming
Title: China daily as a competing and hybridized discourse : a discourse-analytic approach
Degree: Ph.D.
Year: 2014
Subject: Newspapers -- Language.
Discourse analysis.
English newspapers -- China -- Beijing
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Dept. of Chinese and Bilingual Studies
Pages: xii, 255 p. : ill. ; 30 cm.
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2747467
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/7453
Abstract: The present study aims to contribute to an integrated analytic framework for the analysis of the competing and hybridized nature of Chinese English media in a globalizing context. China Daily (hereafter CD), the epitome of Chinese English media in China's media systems, is selected for a close investigation and understanding of how the competing and hybridized nature is reflected in its representations of contentious issues of international significances. The dispute over the Renminbi (or Chinese yuan) exchange rate between China and the US at the beginning of this century is taken as a case study, and the representations of the same issue in CD and the New York Times (hereafter NYT) are compared to illuminate to what extent CD represents a competing and hybridized discourse. A discourse-analytic framework is established by integrating the socio-cognitive approach of critical discourse analysis (e.g., van Dijk, 1998a), the notion of discourse system by Scollon and Scollon (1995/2001), and the holistic concept of stance by Du Bois (2007) to provide a socio-cognitive understanding of the relations between media systems, stancetaking, and discourse features as well as a tripartite analysis of stancetaking in terms of attitudinal stance, positioning and alignment. It is postulated that a critical analysis of particular ways of stancetaking can reveal not only the particular stance towards a certain issue but also the particular professional persona of a certain newspaper. Two corpora CD and NYThave been built by collecting all the news reports related to the currency dispute from 2001 to 2011 in each newspaper. The method of corpus-assisted discourse study serves as the major analytical tool for analyzing the particular ways of stancetaking in the present study. A combined method of starting from both forms and meanings is adopted for the tripartite analysis of stancetaking, with attitudinal stance analysis focusing on semantic categories and conceptual metaphors, positioning analysis on several grammatical patterns which can indicate the particular ways of writers' positioning in respect of their putative readers, and alignment analysis on the ways of engaging and recontextualizing different groups of voices by the two newspapers.
The findings suggest that while two newspapers represent the currency dispute in line with their respective dominant national interest, CD features a typical competing and hybridized discourse. On the one hand, it still represents a typical authoritarian newspaper and aligns with the interests of the Chinese government by always defending the Chinese government's stance towards the issue, featuring a positive and authoritarian reporting style and a high power distance between writers and readers, and preferring the use of direct represented discourses. On the other hand, CD also shows the influences of liberal journalism as well as globalism. While refusing the request for Renminbi appreciation, CD also acknowledges the necessity for change and reform in Renminbi exchange rate policies. Besides, it also incorporates the reporting styles of the orthodox liberal journalism in order to construct an impartial and rational image, such as the dominant use of expert voices, the choice of neutral speech verbs, the relatively balanced treatment of the voices from China and those voices from other origins, and genericized and individualized representations of these voices. It is argued in the present study that this hybridized trend does not mean that CD is moving towards liberal journalism, since the appropriation of liberal reporting styles and practices is only strategic and superficial, which takes place only to better serve the communication objectives of the Chinese government. The significance of this research resides in its development from a simplistic dichotomy of media practice between China and the West to uncovering the complex intertwinement between the Chinese and the global discourse systems in contemporary Chinese media practice. It is also one of the few studies that have manifested the significance of integrating linguistic features that characterize different discourse systems into a critical analysis of media discourses in a globalizing context. The integrated analytic framework established in this study for the critical analysis of the particular way of stancetaking by each newspaper is significant and can be applied to further comparative analysis of the representations of the same issue by newspapers from different as well as the same socio-cultural contexts. Adopting a socio-cognitive understanding of the relations between discourse, stancetaking and ideologies, the study has explicated the intricate relations between stylistic variations and ideological (in)consistencies, thus offering a more comprehensive view of why newspapers from different or the same socio-cultural contexts can represent the same issue differently.

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