Although the ideology of pro-work conservatism prevails in East Asia, scholars have largely overlooked its discursive construction in media communication from a linguistic perspective. This paper examines the discursive construction of pro-work conservatism in 3,000 Weibo posts with the most “likes” in response to China’s implementation of the three-child policy. Using the sociosemantic approach as an analytic framework, the paper finds that three dominant themes underpin the discourse of pro-work conservatism: women’s sacrifice in the labour market, the high cost of raising children, and gender-essentialist norms. This discourse is articulated in the posts via a number of discursive strategies, including authorization, morality, and rationalisation. This paper sheds light on the influence of the one-child policy and the awakening of feminist consciousness in the new era and highlights the implications of language use in shaping gender-role ideologies to influence public perception.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2023 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
- Critical discourse analysis
- pro-work conservatism
- sociosemantic approach
- three-child policy