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Carrying a Torch

The Beijing Olympic Torch Relay in the British and Chinese Media


Mei Yang

The Olympic torch relay held before the 2008 Games was the moment when East met West on the media stage. This book analyses the torch relay and its representation, offering a discursive construction of Olympic ideology by and through the media in both East and West. The author argues that the discourse used by the media in different social contexts reflected the diversity of ideologies and cultural values with which the Olympic flame was imbued.
A corpus-based Discourse-Historical Approach in Critical Discourse Analysis (DHA-CDA) is applied to media discourse in the United Kingdom and in China to examine the complexity, contradiction and conflicts in linguistic interpretations of Olympic ideology. Corpora drawn from the China Daily, BBC News and The Guardian are described, interpreted in their linguistic contexts, and then explained in terms of the broader historical and socio-political contexts surrounding the dynamic life of the Olympic torch relay. This unique study sheds light on the significance of the Olympic Games for East-West media discourse and analysis.
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Appendix: Concordance analysis of media, Olympic, journey, flame, human, torch, torchbearer, Athens, Beijing and London



This Appendix presents the summary of concordance analysis of the ten chosen words, i.e. media, Olympic, journey, flame, human, torch, torchbearer, Athens, Beijing and London, to identify the linguistic patterns and collocational associations surrounding these selected lexical items in the discourse. They will further demonstrate the similarities and differences between the Chinese and the British media.

The word media occurs 223 times in the top fifty CDC-B word list. Tables 1–1 and 1–2 present the results of the concordance for the word media.

Table 1–1. Collocates of media in CDC-B.

Table 1–2. Clusters of media in CDC-B.

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