The Discursive Construction of National Identity in Speeches of Wen Jiabao in Response to the 2008─2011 Global Financial-Economic Recessions

Mustafa Ar


Although the relationship between discourse and identity has generally been explored in academic literature, critical research on the constitutive role of discourse in constructing national identity in the domain of the contemporary global economy has received scant attention. The main objective of this article is to identify and describe the linguistic resources used to construct national identity in the political economic speeches during the 2008–2011 global financial-economic recessions. The study is also an attempt to explain the opaque relationship between the discursive and economic elements in the formation of national identity. The sources of data are derived from three political economic speeches of the former Premier Wen Jiabao of China. Drawing upon critical discourse analysis and cultural political economy, the article reveals that at the micro level the first person plural ‘we’, nominal groups, and adverbs of place make up linguistic elements deployed to construct China’s national identity. At the macro level, constructive strategies are employed to inculcate national identity. With respect to political economy, the speeches entrench the neoliberal economic policy while obfuscating national interests of China as being a country with a form of state-led market economy.

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Studies in Media and Communication      ISSN 2325-8071 (Print)   ISSN 2325-808X (Online)

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