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At the beginning of the Covid-19 outbreak in China, the state quickly declared a nationwide anti-Covid campaign. This article looks at how the rural space was transformed during this early anti-Covid campaign. Unlike the official state discourses, rural officials resorted to direct, down-to-earth, and ‘cold-hearted’ messages to persuade the villagers to comply with the rules. Based on a study of widely circulated banners and videos online, drawing on Linguistic Landscape studies and discourse analysis, I investigate the discursive strategies employed in rural LL. Moreover, I discuss how the intended/imagined audiences of these multimodal signing practices are disconnected from the changed rural population. These discrepancies will be further examined in light of the online subcultural practices of ‘tuwei culture’. I will argue that much-needed discussion of the actual difficulties that rural officials face is displaced in the online consumption of rural LL.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This article is part of a research project investigating linguistic landscapes in transitional China, funded by RGC of Hong Kong (LU 23601219).
© John Benjamins Publishing Company.
- Linguistic Landscape
- health communication
- rural governance
- the Chinese internet
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