Author: Deng, Yi
Title: Genre, multimodality and marketized university discourse : a diachronic analysis of university annual reports in Hong Kong
Degree: DALS
Year: 2018
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Universities and colleges -- China -- Hong Kong
Education, Higher -- Marketing
Discourse analysis
Corporate image
Department: Faculty of Humanities
Pages: xi, 222 pages : color illustrations
Language: English
Abstract: With the internationalization and marketization of higher education in Hong Kong (HK), there has been a growing process of corporatization in the daily practices of local universities, which has brought about a series of social and academic debates. Based on the assumption that organizational discourse is a reflection and constituent of organizational and social change, the present thesis aims to reveal the diachronic genre change in university annual reports along with the marketization process in the HK higher education sector. Drawing on critical genre analysis (CGA) which assumes the organizational practices and culture are realized through discursive practice, the study develops a multiperspective and multimodal framework to examine the annual reports of six major HK universities from the academic year 1994/1995 to 2015/2016. At the macro-level of the organization, the focus is on interdiscursivity and generic structure (sections) of this genre; whereas at the micro-level of the textualization, texts and images in the "research" sections of the annual reports are analysed by adopting keyword analysis and (critical) multimodal discourse analysis.
The findings suggest that this genre has been incorporating increasingly apparent marketing values and promotional strategies. First, the university annual report is a hybridized genre with multiple communicative purposes. Three discourse types forming the interdiscursivity of this genre, namely management discourse, reporting discourse, and public relations discourse, with different rhetorical acts, collectively form this genre to realise the informative, promotional, and relational functions. This interdiscursivity indicates a prevalent coexistence of the seemingly conflicting ideologies of the business culture and the traditional social roles of universities in contemporary marketized higher education in HK. Also, the diachronic changes in section distribution reflect how the universities in HK adapt themselves to a more commercialized positioning in the higher education sector regarding their ideologies and priorities. Second, keyword analysis further confirms the diachronic transformation at the level of textualization concerning the content and style of this genre when research activities are reported. It shows that the changes echo social and institutional shifts along with the marketization process, demonstrating features of practices and ideologies of academic entrepreneurship. Third, the image analysis indicates that the primary function of the images in the "research" section shifts from recording the research reality to showcasing the researchers and their achievements, from a more informational to a more promotional and relational perspective. The study examines some major controversial issues about public communication of neoliberal universities, such as the seemingly conflicting ideologies of business culture and traditional social roles of universities, discursive representation of research activities, and identity construction of HK universities. In the context of branding HK as an international education hub, this study enriches organizational and social studies on the marketization of HK higher education from a discursive perspective.

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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/9892