Author: Zhang, Junchen
Title: Political leadership discourse of China and its representations in global media : a critical discourse analysis of “Chinese Dream”
Advisors: Wu, Dongying (CBS)
Liu, Ming (CBS)
Degree: DALS
Year: 2021
Subject: Discourse analysis -- Political aspects
Communication in politics
Xi, Jinping
China -- Politics and government
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Faculty of Humanities
Pages: xiv, 305 pages
Language: English
Abstract: Political leadership discourse is a significant symbolic power in the People's Republic of China. It concentratively represents Chinese top leadership's consensus, political vision and ideological orientation. The"Chinese Dream" that was proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping has become a crucial political discourse (or discursive symbol) that presents Xi's vision of governance of China. This study examines "Chinese Dream" from a critical discourse analysis (CDA) perspective. It focuses on the three dimensions of "Chinese Dream", namely, socio-historical context, discursive construction and media representation. Methodologically, the study proposes a discourse analytical framework that combines the Discourse-Historical Approach (DHA) in critical discourse analysis (Wodak, 2001; Reisigl & Wodak, 2009) with Framing Analysis (Goffman, 1974; Gamson, 1989; Entman, 1993; Pan & Kosicki, 1993) and Corpus Linguistic methods (Hardt-Mautner, 1995; Sinclair, 2004; Baker, 2006; Cheng, 2013). Essentially, the study adheres to the socio-political orientation of critical discourse studies. Historical context is a key dimension to political discourse. Therefore, the sociohistorical context (particularly the critical historical moments) is examined from a diachronic perspective, mapping out the evolutionary track of contemporary Chinese political discourse (from Maoist revolutionary discourse to Xi's national rejuvenation discourse). In terms of the data for analysis, the study employs two types of data, including political texts (i.e. political speech genre) and news texts (i.e. news genre). The political texts were collected from Xi's two-volume English monograph, i.e. Xi Jinping: The Governance of China. The news texts were collected from three global-branding newspapers, i.e. China Daily, South China Morning Post and The New York Times. The examination of the political texts of "Chinese Dream" included deconstructing its discursive themes, discursive strategies and narrative frames and critically analyzing its underlying political-cultural ideologies; while the news texts were examined to reveal how the national Dream discourse was reframed, reshaped and reinterpreted in media representations (specifically news stories) by adopting heterogeneous news frames and political orientations.
The research findings reveal that the political discursive construction of "Chinese Dream" is highly China-centric, aiming at serving Chinese nationalism, Chinese leadership's authority and the consolidation of Chinese Communist Party's ruling legitimacy. Its discursive patterns (e.g. styles, forms and rhetoric) are formulaic with strong Chinese communist-patriotic doctrine. Transiting from political discourse to media representation, the original image of "Chinese Dream" has been reframed, re-narrated and recontextualized in media coverage by institutions of divergent ideologies and interests. It is found that the three globalized newspapers adopted news frames with different cultural-political orientations, namely, China Daily's Sino-centric frame, South China Morning Post's multiculturalist frame and The New York Times' America-centric Othering frame. These news frames not only reflect their news reporting ideologies and political orientations, but also their geopolitical locations and profound differences of sociopolitical and cultural systems, namely, Mainland China's socialism with Chinese characteristics, HongKong's "one country, two systems" social reality with multicultural ethos, and American capitalist democratic-liberal system. All in all, the study has unveiled the sociohistorical context, political discursive patterns, media frames and hidden sociopolitical ideologies embedded in the discursive construction of "Chinese Dream". It is hoped that the multiple-critical analyses made by the study can contribute to deeply understanding the "Chinese Dream" and its heterogenous representations in global media and even broadly China's sociopolitical changes.
Rights: All rights reserved
Access: restricted access

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