Who should apologise:Expressing criticism of public figures on Chinese social media in times of COVID-19

Tao, Yingnian (2021) Who should apologise:Expressing criticism of public figures on Chinese social media in times of COVID-19. Discourse and Society. ISSN 0957-9265

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Abstract

Previous studies on public opinion expression in communication, political science and discourse analysis are restricted to a censorship-/counter-censorship frame and focus their analysis on events with political agendas. This study explores netizens’ discursive practice by focusing the analysis on netizens’ language use in context per se, rather than from a censorship/counter- censorship viewpoint. It adopts a discursive pragmatic approach to examine a ‘mundane’ trending topic regarding a dispute between two public figures rather than ‘major’ events with acute social and political agendas. This study present evidence that Weibo users criticise public figures through indirect discursive strategies, including parody of name, constructed dialogues and rhetorical questions. It also highlights two prominent sentiments in Weibo public spheres during the COVID-19 pandemic – cyber nationalism and binary opposition between China and the rest of the world. The online backlash against Fang demonstrates how easily netizens can change their views towards a certain event.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Discourse and Society
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3300/3312
Subjects:
ID Code:
155758
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
04 Jun 2021 11:10
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
04 Jun 2021 11:10