International Journal of Literature and Arts
Volume 8, Issue 4, July 2020, Pages: 196-205
Received: Feb. 27, 2020;
Accepted: Mar. 10, 2020;
Published: May 15, 2020
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Peng Na, School of English for International Business, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, Guangzhou, China
Communicators have a range of referential options to represent individuals and groups, who in Critical Discourse Analysis are often termed “social actors” or “participants”. These choices allow communicators to place people in the social world and highlight certain aspects of their identity while downplaying others. Choosing one social category instead of another means foregrounding certain features and backgrounding others, leading to different views and interpretations of the persons represented. This paper takes a quantitative study of the social actors represented in Jamil Anderlini’s article on China’s panda diplomacy published in the Financial Times, identifying and analyzing referential strategies adopted in representing participants involved in the social practice, mainly focusing on the discussion of such representation means as inclusion/exclusion, assimilation/ individualization, association/dissociation and their indications for the revelation of the writer’s attitudes, beliefs and political stance. The study reveals that the writer’s representation of participants tends to be bi-polarized, holding sharply different attitudes towards the main social actors—China, foreign countries and zoos, researchers and FT, depicting China as a crafty, deceptive, and intimidating manipulator of panda diplomacy while other countries as innocent, ignorant and helpless victims. This difference can be partly explained by Teun van Dijk’s “ideological square” in which China is a typical out-group, emphasized as a communist, authoritarian country in opposition to the democratic West to which the writer belongs.
Representation of Social Actors in Financial times Report on China’s Panda Diplomacy, International Journal of Literature and Arts.
Vol. 8, No. 4,
2020, pp. 196-205.
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