Chinese Discourse Studies
basic assumptions
Centre for Contemporary Chinese Discourse Studies, Zhejiang University
[email protected]
• To construct a cultural paradigm of
discourse studies: “Chinese Discourse
Studies (CDS)”
– Philosophical component
– Theoretical component
– Methodological component
– Issue component
Principles for construction
– Capable of reflecting Chinese cultural-intellectual
identity and politics
– Capable of engaging in intercultural-scholarly
dialogue and critique
• Terminological intelligibility
– Capable of helping with the development of China
and its communication with the international
Foundations of CDS
• Chinese contexts as reality
– Chinese culture and history; development; unequal
order of international relation and communication
• Chinese scholarships as resources
Chinese philosophy (e.g. holism, dialect)
Chinese communication studies (e.g. ‘He’)
Chinese rhetorical studies (e.g. figures of speech)
Chinese literary studies (e.g. ‘yi-jing’)
Philosophical component
– Ontology (holistic): universe as a unified whole of
parts in interdependence, interaction and in flux
– Epistemology (dialectic): see(k)ing knowledge in a
holistic, relational, dynamic, multi-lateral and selfreflexive way
– Axiology (pragmatic): ‘use-minded’ and ‘worrying’
Theoretical component
• Contemporary Chinese discourse (CCD) changes in
response to history and culture
• CCD is guided by the rule of “meaning beyond language”
• CCD is guided by the norm of equilibrium (i.e. harmony,
inclusiveness, other-orientation, modesty, zhongyong)
• CCD is guided by a dialectic way of thinking (i.e. seeing
opposites, connections, changes)
• CCD gives precedence to authority
• CCD cares about face
• CCD sets great store by patriotism
• CCD values aesthetic effects
Methodological component 1
Researching principles
• Study discourse holistically (look for entirety,
• Study discourse dialectically (look for change,
opposition, complexity, oneself)
• Study discourse historically (seek historical description,
explanation and evaluation)
• Study discourse inter-culturally (seek intercultural
description, explanation and evaluation)
• Study discourse rationally and intuitively (use evidence
and experience)
• Study discourse dialogically (seek meaning through
dialogue continuously)
Methodological component 2
Analytic/evaluative categories
• Speaker/hearer/hearer-speaker?
– Identifications and relations
• Textual content/form?
– topics, definitions, speech acts, metaphors, etc.
• Mediums?
– Languages, media, setting/timing
• Consequences?
– social, economic, cultural and other changes
• Historical approach to all the above
– changes, contrasts, (dis)continuities
• Inter/intra-cultural approach to all the above
– connections, contrasts, domination, resistance, transformations
Topical component
Discourse of development
Discourse of profession
Discourse of ethnicity
Discourse of sovereignty
Discourse of the environment
Discourse of crisis
Discourse of cultural change
Discourse of intercultural communication
In Conclusion
• Characteristics of CDS
– ‘Holistic’ ontology, ‘dialectic’ epistemology,
‘worrying’ axiology, ‘imaginative and harmonious’
theory, ‘dialogical’ methodology, ‘development’
• Through interdisciplinary, inter-linguistic,
intercultural cooperation
• By becoming ‘strategic’, developingworld-leading intellectuals
Thank you
Ahsante Sana

长江学者特聘教授申请者 施旭 - Cultural Discourse Studies---