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Interpersonal Rhetoric in the Editorials of «China Daily»

A Generic Perspective


Liu Lihua

This book offers a critical review of three different approaches to Editorial Discourse Analysis (EDA). In a practical approach, each of the three – linguistic, discoursal and dialogistic – is applied to the analysis of China Daily editorials.
What are the social functions of China Daily editorials? How are these functions realized in the editorial texts? These are the questions the author focused on carrying out this study, which is aimed at exploring the reasons for the discourse practice of editorials of China Daily.
Beyond describing the language features of China Daily editorials, this book attempts to explain Interpersonal Rhetoric from cultural and social perspectives.


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8 Editorial as Social Power 215


8 Editorial as Social Power 8.1 Editorial discourse as a discourse of power and solidarity The analysis of social practice forms a theoretically coherent and methodologically effective study for social scientific research (Fairclough 2000). The significance of the concept of social practice is that it has established connections between social structures and social interaction. All social practices can be characterized in terms of the material they work on, their means of production, and the social relations they produce (Althusser and Balibar 1970: 41). Furthermore, social practice involves identification, that is, the construction of social identities and representation of the social world – every practice is associated with particular ‘positions’ for people in terms of which their identities and social relations are specified. However, different identities in different positions will have different performances depending on the social memberships and life histories of those who occupy those positions. A social practice, that is, a practice of production, can bring different elements into a local specific relation. These elements include types of activity, spatial and temporal locations, material resources, persons with particular experiences, knowledge and wants, and semiotic resources including language. Thus, there are four categories in a social practice: physical elements, sociological elements, cultural/psychological elements, and discourse of an abstract nature. Since these elements articulate with each other to constitute a social practice, the elements are called ‘moments’ in the practice. By articulation, we mean how elements are brought together as moments within the practice. The moments in the practice are in a...

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