This article examines online identity practices of Chinese doctors mediated through borrowed linguistic resources in a leading medical app. Setting against rapid societal changes in China which open up traditionally ‘powerful’ professions to market competition, and the development of a booming digital economy, this app and its semiotic work drawing on Chinese Internet vernacular, I will argue, offer a fascinating lens to probe into the highly dynamic online discursive practices in contemporary China. Drawing on the notions of entextualization and resemiotization, I will trace and analyse the patterned ways in which pre-existing linguistic resources are creatively reworked by the app to achieve new identity-making purposes. Situating the changes of the field of healthcare in China within a worldwide shift towards neoliberal ideologies and practices, I will also briefly discuss how the emergence of such new social space in digital settings may impact the production and communication of health knowledge and services in China.
|Number of pages||20|
|Journal||Discourse & Communication|
|Early online date||11 May 2020|
|Publication status||Published - Oct 2020|
Bibliographical noteI would like to thank Andrew Sewell from Department of English, Lingnan University for insightful comments on an earlier draft of the paper. I am also grateful for the detailed reviews from two anonymous reviewers, which helped to improve the quality of the paper.
- Chinese Internet vernacular
- Mainland China
- popular science article
- professional identity
- sociolinguistic resources