Formulating the discourse of pro-work conservatism : A critical discourse analysis of Weibo posts in response to the implementation of the three-child policy

Yating YU, Tayden Fung CHAN*, Qiongyao HUANG

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

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.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
JournalFeminist Media Studies
Early online date12 Apr 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Keywords

  • Critical discourse analysis
  • Weibo
  • pro-work conservatism
  • sociosemantic approach
  • three-child policy

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