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Discourse as Cultural Struggle

Edited by Xu Shi

Publication Year: 2007

The volume argues, through theory and research in multicultural perspectives, that discourse/communication is a site of cultural contest, change and cooperation and sets out a practical research agenda for this new area.

Published by: Hong Kong University Press, HKU

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-ix

The concept of discourse is pivotal to the entire endeavor of this book. This concept has had an interesting intellectual biography. It first emerged as a vital formulation in linguistics, where research focused on how stretches of language regarded in their total textual, cultural, and social contexts came to assume meaning and unity for their respective users. Linguists, interested in discourse ...


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pp. xi-xiv

PART I: Cultural Issues in Theory and Methodology

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pp. 1-2

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1. Discourse Studies and Cultural Politics: An Introduction

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pp. 3-16

In mainstream (critical) discourse analysis/studies, discourse is usually understood as a linguistic, meaningful activity that is different in kind from, though causally related to, context, the elements of which range from the person, the mind, the medium, the situation, to society and culture. Moreover, theory of discourse and approaches to it, which are largely of Western origin ...

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2. Discourse and Cultural Transformation

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pp. 17-28

Discourse is currently increasing in importance in the more global and multicultural world of today. Discourse is not only a representation of reality and of oneself; it is also a weapon and an action for influencing other players. Therefore, discourse is intimately related to power and identity. All the actors, be they nations, regions, international organizations, or cultural groups, use ...

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3. Agendas for Multicultural Discourse Research

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pp. 29-46

It may be useful, right at the outset, to point at the deliberate choice of the words in the title of this chapter and what they are expected to signify. Let us attend to each word briefly, in order to spell out the multiple goals and the ultimate aim of the chapter, set the scene for the discussion and engage in the main argument itself that they co-constitute. ...

PART II: Cultural Struggles in Discourse

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pp. 47-48

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4. Discursive Transition in Central and Eastern Europe

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pp. 49-72

This chapter is an initial contribution to an area of research I am currently embarking on: the role of discourse in processes of “transition” (i.e., from socialism to capitalism and Western forms of democratic government) in central and eastern Europe (henceforth CEE). My particular focus here is on attempts in CEE, and specifically Romania, to construct a “knowledge-based economy” ...

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5. Cultural Value Change in Mainland China’s Commercial Discourse

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pp. 73-90

Over the last two decades, China has undergone significant internal changes along with the external globalization movement. After Mao’s death in 1976, Deng Xiaoping adopted an “open door” policy to improve Chinese people’s living standard, and he initiated the change from a planned economy to a market economy and modernization, though the government also attempted ...

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6. A Chinese Christmas Story

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pp. 91 -104

The object of this chapter is to tell a Chinese Christmas story. Christmas iconography in the shape of the Christmas tree, Santa Claus, reindeer, and tinsel is becoming increasingly visible in China, particularly in urban areas. Where once such displays were restricted to large hotels that catered to foreigners, and foreign student dormitories on Chinese university and college campuses, the ...

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7. Western Representations of the Other

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pp. 105-122

Historically, China has been a place of mystery to the Western mind. It is as remote as it is vast, ancient, alien, and fascinating. The tales of “Cathay” reached Europe as early as the seventh century, followed by generations of travelers such as Marco Polo and missionaries. During Western colonial expansion in the nineteenth century, China remained the last and largest country to resist being ...

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8. Western Politeness Theory and Non-Western Context

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pp. 123-142

During the past few decades, linguistic politeness has drawn significant attention from Western and non-Western scholars. As indicated by its principal definitional characteristic as a so-called strategic device for reducing social friction by smoothening social interactions and by avoiding conflict during social encounters, linguistic politeness can be seen ultimately as a socio-cultural ...

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9. Discourse, Cultural Imperialism, Black Culture and Language Research in the United States

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pp. 143-154

Baldwin’s words point to the indelible imprint of oppression that inflects the speech of black people; they also point to the capacity of the language to resist the oppression that seeks to render it mute. Oppression, here, refers not only to structural and institutional relations, such as exploitation, marginality, and powerlessness, which attach in material and particular ways to black language. ...

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10. The Discourse of Chinese Medicine and Westernization

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pp. 155-176

Traditional Chinese discourse is here defined as the language hitherto used for thousands of years in all spheres of traditional life in China: in education, and in social, political, and scientific institutions. As a result of the progress of the modernization of Chinese society starting from the early twentieth century, particularly the May Fourth Movement,1 such a language has been gradually ...

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11. Intercultural Communication and Conflict Resolution: Towards an Iranian Approach

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pp. 177-188

Many failures to international cooperation and conflict resolution seem to be related to communication problems and cultural differences. In other words, the establishment of realistic, proper, and effective communication, based on mutual cultural understanding and goodwill, would solve many national and international disputes. Such a subject becomes more acute and sensitive, and ...

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12. Teaching Intercultural Communication in a Chinese Perspective

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pp. 187-198

In the year 1978, China began to open its doors to the outside world. China seeks contact with foreign countries at every level — cultural, economic and political — through language. More and more people find that successful contact with foreigners involves not only a person’s linguistic competence (Chomsky 1965) but also intercultural competence (Wiemann 1993; Buttjes and ...


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pp. 199-200

E-ISBN-13: 9789888052196
Print-ISBN-13: 9789622098114

Page Count: 216
Publication Year: 2007