Table Of Contents
- About the author
- About the book
- This eBook can be cited
- 1. Migrant workers and public media in China
- 1.1. Internal migrant workers in China
- 1.2. Public media in China
- 1.3. Names of migrant workers in Chinese media
- 1.4. Overview of chapters
- 2. Media discourse analysis from a sociolinguistic perspective
- 2.1. Sociolinguistic approaches to discourse studies
- 2.1.1. Variationist sociolinguistics
- 2.1.2. Interactional sociolinguistics
- 2.1.3. Sociocultural linguistics
- 2.2. Media discourse and critical discourse analysis
- 2.3. Media discourse: genre and narrative
- 2.3.1. A genre approach to media discourse
- 2.3.2. Media narrative
- 2.3.3. Narrative as text
- 2.3.4. Narrative as interactional practice
- 2.4. Media discourse, identity and stance
- 2.4.1. Media and identity
- 2.4.2. Media and stance
- 2.5. Media discourse analysis in Chinese contexts
- 3. Newspaper representation of migrant workers in China
- 3.1. Newspapers in China
- 3.2. Media discourses about migrant workers and previous studies
- 3.3. Representation of migrant workers in the six newspapers in China
- 3.3.1. Identity dimensions of migrant workers foregrounded in the newspapers
- 3.3.2. Key themes concerning migrant workers in the newspapers
- 3.3.3. Text types of the media articles concerning migrant workers
- 3.4. Conclusion
- 4. White-collar migrant workers in public media
- 4.1. Theoretical foundations
- 4.2. The origin of “he kafei” “18 nian fendou” as a metapragmatic discourse
- 4.3. Identity of migrant workers constructed around these two phrases
- 4.4. Data collection
- 4.5. Stance-taking
- 4.5.1. Insiders’ stances
- 4.5.2. Public intellectuals’ stances
- 4.5.3. Outsiders’ stances
- 4.6. Conclusion
- 5. Construction of migrant workers’ identities on a TV talk show
- 5.1. Introduction
- 5.2. From abnormality, normality, to supernormality
- 5.2.1. Diligence, frugality, and striving for success
- 5.2.2. Perseverance and confidence in life
- 5.2.3. Action with visions and strategies
- 5.3. Co-construction of the identities
- 5.3.1. Reaching into the ‘off stage’ life
- 5.3.2. ‘Back stage’ preparation
- 5.3.3. ‘Front stage’ performance
- 5.4. Discussion and Conclusion
- 6. Media representation and practice in Chinese contexts
- 6.1. Media representation, interaction, and construction in Chinese contexts
- 6.2. Identities of and stances towards migrant workers in China’s media
- 6.3. Future directions in researching media discourse in Chinese contexts
- Appendix 1
- Appendix II
- Series index
The unprecedented economic development and rapid urbanisation in China over the past four decades has propelled massive internal migration. Large numbers of the population have migrated from the countryside to towns and cities, especially to megalopolises such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, usually individuals in search of jobs and higher wages. This large population has become the main labour force in China’s recent massive economic boom. Official statistics from China’s National Bureau of Statistics (2016) place the number of internal migrants in China at about 20% of its population of 1.37 billion, having increased from roughly 30 million in 1989 to more than 277.47 million in 2015. Yet when migrants leave their homesteads, they tend to suffer from many difficulties, such as identity crisis and social injustice, and, further, the existing social system has to meet the challenges of resettling this population into a normative urban life. These issues and problems are perpetuated by China’s longstanding social structure and political system. While this social phenomenon has drawn the attention of researchers from a wide range of socio-political studies including sociology, economics, anthropology, and political studies, this book sets out to investigate how the public media in China represent this distinctive social group. This book will provide a sociolinguistic analysis of how identities of, and stances towards, migrant workers have been represented in China’s public media, such as print media, web pages, and TV programs, and how these representations have been constructed by the media.
Drawing on discourse analysis and sociolinguistic theories, this book explores how their identities and the stances taken towards them have been constructed, transformed, and mediated in China’s media in response to the rapid social change in China. The theories underpinning this socio-oriented discourse study include (critical) discourse analysis (Fairclough 1993, 1995, 2015; Blommaert 2005; van Dijk 1988, 2011), sociocultural linguistic theories on identity (Bucholtz and Hall 2004, 2005, 2008; Bucholtz 1999, 2002), discourse and identity research ← 9 | 10 → (Benwell and Stokoe 2006; Daiute and Lightfoot 2004; De Fina and Georgakopoulou 2012), stance-taking theories (Bois 2007; Jaffe 2009), and many more, which together provide the researcher with a repertoire of tools for conceptualising, analysing and interpreting the data.
For the analysis of identity as constituted in linguistic interaction, sociocultural linguistic researchers on identity hold that identity is the product rather than the source of linguistic and other semiotic practices (e.g. Blommaert 2005; Bucholtz and Hall 2005). They claim that identity is fundamentally a social and cultural phenomenon that emerges from linguistic and other semiotic practices. Identity in this research tradition is not simply viewed as a psychological mechanism of self-classification that is reflected in people’s social behaviour but rather as something that is constituted through social action, and especially through language (Bucholtz and Hall 2005: 588). In narrative identity research, narrative is considered as the ‘basic’, most ‘essential’, mode of human communication that can index identity. Narrative is also regarded as experience-as-told and as made social (Blommaert 2005:84). In other words, it is regarded as a basic human way of making sense of the world as we lead ‘storied lives’ (Riessman 1993). In this sense, narrative is constitutive of reality as well as of identity and subjectivity.
Stance, as defined by Bois (2007), is a public act by a social actor, achieved interactively with others through language, gesture, and other symbolic forms. By using these explicit communication means, social actors “simultaneously evaluate objects, position subjects (themselves and others), and align with other subjects, with respect to any salient dimension of the sociocultural field” (Bois 2007:163). From linguistic or sociolinguistic perspectives, there are various terms that have been used to describe different types of stance-taking, such as footing, alignment, positioning, and addressivity (see Jaffe 2009 for a detailed summary). Bois (2007:139) argues that stance is “one of the most important things we do with words,” and it is “a linguistically articulated form of social action”.
Themes covered in the book include identities of and stances towards migrant workers constructed in public media, including newspapers, web pages, magazines and TV programs. It also explores the ← 10 | 11 → interactions between various media participants and the media practices and processes that construct these media products.
Objectives of the book are to
• explore interrelationship between media representation of migrant workers and social change in contemporary China;
• examine how identities of and stances towards migrant workers have been constructed, transformed and mediated in China’s media discourse;
• investigate the media strategies and practices constructing these media products.
This book aims at providing a conceptual advance in understanding one of the most noteworthy components of the Chinese population against a backdrop of high mobility in China. It also provides a comprehensive study of how the media representation of migrant workers is interacting with the sociocultural transformation in China. The findings and discussions of the book offer critical insights into media discourse and practice in contemporary China which will be of interest to scholars and research students in discourse studies, sociolinguistics, media and communication studies, and China studies. ← 11 | 12 →
This book is based on my research conducted on Chinese media discourse between 2010 to the present. I am grateful to the publishers below for granting me permission to reproduce the following articles: Taylor and Francis Group (London: www.tandfonline.com) for my article “Coffee and 18 years of endeavour: stances towards white-collar migrants in China”, published in Journal of Multicultural Discourses (2014) 9(2), 134–148, which forms the basis for Chapter 4 “White-collar migrant workers in public media”; John Benjamins Publishing Company for my article “Co-construction of migrant workers’ identities on a TV talk show in China”, published in Tsung and Wang (ed.) Contemporary Chinese Discourse and Social Practice in China (2015), 125–142, (Amsterdam/Philadelphia: https://www.benjamins.com/catalog/scld.4 ), which forms the basis for Chapter 5 “Construction of migrant workers’ identities on a TV talk show”.
My sincere thanks go to colleagues at the University of Sydney for their encouragement and support during the writing of this book: Yingjie Guo, Linda Tsung, Bonnie McDougall, Brian Paltridge, Yixu Lu, and Irene An. I also thank anonymous reviewers of the original journal articles and the present book chapters who have made constructive suggestions.
Also, I am indebted to the China Studies Centre at the University of Sydney for providing me with adequate funding to attend the International Conference on Language, Power and Identity in Asia (Leiden, the Netherlands in 2016), during which I presented part of the findings in this book and received productive comments and suggestions.
My special thanks go to Tigger Wise who has proofread the whole manuscript with her careful attention to details. I would also like to thank Lian Liu and Liang Xia for their meticulous help with the data analysis for Chapter 3 and preparation of appendix.
My special thanks also go to my friends and colleagues in China who have provided assistance with the data collection and, especially, ← 13 | 14 → the access to the media. Without their help, it would not have been possible to complete this project.
I am also extremely grateful for the editorial guidance provided by Laura Diegel and Adrian Stähli at the Peter Lang Publishing Group.
Finally, but most of all, my thanks go to my wife Dan and lovely son Jeff, whose love and inspiration have meant so much to me.
- ISBN (ePUB)
- ISBN (PDF)
- ISBN (MOBI)
- ISBN (Softcover)
- Publication date
- 2018 (October)
- media in China discourse analysis migrant workers migrants' identity newspaper TV show social change
- Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2017. 175 pp. 3 coloured ill., 10 b/w table/s