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A Critical Discourse Analysis of China Related Editorials on the Washington Post

Author: ZhangJinLing
Tutor: DongHongXue
School: Yanshan University
Course: English Language and Literature
Keywords: The Washington Post China related editorials critical discourse analysis ideology
CLC: H315
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2013
Downloads: 3
Quote: 0
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Based on critical linguistics, critical discourse analysis is an important branch oflinguistics and is aimed at revealing the relations among discourse, power and ideology.The sociality of language determines it can not completely and objectively reflect the realworld. The tools in critical discourse analysis help go deeper into the analysis of thediscourse and reveal the hidden ideology, interactive influences between discourse andideology during the process of language production by penetrating into the surface of thediscourse. Editorial is one of the most essential categories of media discourses. Itsattitudinal tendency reflects and represents the news agency’s stand to the largest extent.What’s more, its attitude has a great influence upon the image and reputation of thecountry which is being reported.The paper presents a critical discourse analysis of China related editorials on one ofthe most notable newspapers-The Washington Post with the theory and methodology ofthe critical discourse analysis and systemic functional grammar. By the stages ofdescription and interpretation, it is expected to disclose the attitude that The WashingtonPost own towards China and the hidden relations between ideology and power.The materials in this paper are collected from the website of The Washington Post. Inorder to make the research reliable and objective, all the China related editorials fromJanuary2010to December2012are included and they are divided into five differenttheme categories. The quantitative analysis of the whole data reveals the agency’s generalattitudinal tendency toward China. The qualitative analysis, which is based on the specificcontext of certain discourse, focuses on discussing five different theme categories’ lexicalchoice, transitivity system, modality and thematic choice on the surface discourse throughthe process of description, interpretation and explanation, and disclosing The WashingtonPost’s attitudes towards China reflected from those China related editorials, anddiscovering the dominant influence of power and ideology. It is concluded that TheWashington Post holds a negative point of view towards China and delivers a verynegative Chinese image around the world. The major tools are the linguistic means used in the surface discourse in the China related editorials and the hidden ideology that beyondthe language and discourse, which is a dominant power.The significance of this research lies in improving news readers’ critical readingability and strengthening their anti-control consciousness. What’s more, activelyunderstanding the hidden ideology and power meaning of the particular discourse alsoprovides a model effects for English reading and translation teaching.

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CLC: > Language, writing > FOREIGN > English > Writing,rhetoric
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