Brainwashing or nurturing positive values : competing voices in Hong Kong's national education debate

Winnie CHENG, Janet HO

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)

6 Citations (Scopus)


This corpus-based discourse analytical study compares the use of collocations, semantic preferences, semantic prosodies and metaphors in the news reports and Hong Kong Government press releases concerning the introduction of the school subject Moral and National Education in Hong Kong in 2012. The analysis of word co-occurrences with the phrase ‘national education’ in the two corpora shows that journalists use various FIGHT metaphors to describe the attitudes and actions of protesters and the responses of the government. However, the government press releases are much more literal, showing a neutral to positive tone and implying that when the planned introduction was shelved, national education will be re-introduced in the future.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Pragmatics
Early online date29 Sep 2014
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014



  • Moral and National Education
  • Metaphors
  • The fight metaphor
  • Semantic preferences and prosodies
  • Media reports and press releases

Cite this