Unpacking Discourses on Chineseness: The Cultural Politics of Language and Identity in Globalizing China

Author: Gao, Shuang, Wang, Xuan

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This book examines the complexity of Chineseness in China and the Chinese diaspora. Using critical sociolinguistic and discourse analytical approaches, the chapters reveal the power dynamics and ideologies underlying the varied ways Chineseness is performed, represented and contested. Together they highlight four perspectives on Chineseness: the multiplicity of Chineseness, aspirational Chineseness, chronotopes of Chineseness and the cultural politics of Chineseness. It is argued that Chineseness is best understood as an ideologically-constructed variable, the articulation of which is deeply embedded within the dynamics of neoliberal globalization, rising nationalism, persistent Western hegemony, and shifting global geopolitics.

Shuang Gao is a sociolinguist working at the University of Liverpool, UK. Her research uses ethnographic and discourse analytical methods to understand China under globalization. She is the author of Aspiring to be Global: Language and Social Change in a Tourism Village in China (Multilingual Matters, 2019).

Xuan Wang is a Senior Lecturer in Chinese Studies at Cardiff University, UK. Her research is interdisciplinary, drawing insights from sociolinguistics, cultural studies, digital communication, ethnography and globalisation studies. She has published a number of peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters.


Chapter 1. Shuang Gao: Introduction: Chineseness as Competing Discourses

Chapter 2. Jing Huang: Chineseness in Diaspora: Multilingualism, Heteroglossia and Fluid Ethnicity

Chapter 3. Luke Lu: When 'Chineseness' Is Not Preferred: Accounts of Academically Elite Students from China in Singapore's Schools

Chapter 4. Elaine Chung and Xuan Wang: Joseonjok YouTubers: Translating Vernacular Chineseness in South Korea

Chapter 5. Jessica Birnie-Smith: Framing Chineseness and Indonesianness on the Periphery

Chapter 6. Eric S. Henry: Narrating the Future Self: Strategic Stylisation and Cosmopolitan Stancetaking in Chinese IELTS Preparation Classes        

Chapter 7. Shuang Gao: Coffee, Social Space and Middle-Class Romance: Customer Writings in an Independent Coffee Shop in China

Chapter 8. Mingyi Hou: The Authenticity, Cultural Authority and Credibility of Weibo Public Intellectuals

Chapter 9. Xiaoxiao Chen: 'Foreigners' in One's Own Land: Analysing Touristic Representations of Chineseness in the New York Times          

Chapter 10. Lionel Wee: Commentary


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