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Anatomizing Chinese Populace’s Power in Guanxi Discourse

by Professor Gu Yueguo, Director of China Multilingual & Multimodal Corpora and Big Data Centre

Date                  5 May 2016
Time                 5:00pm-6:00pm
Venue               AG434
The talk will be conducted in English.

The mainstream of critical discourse analysis (CDA) has been preoccupied with the State Power, the Political Power, and the Party’s Power. These are powers with a big P. they automatically generate correlates such as domination/subornation, opposition/struggle, ideology/resistance. What is generally left out of the picture is another sort of power, i.e., power with a small p, viz. populace’s power.
The populace’s power is proposed to be conceptualized in terms of dependency and resources. This can be demonstrated by the patient seeking help from the doctor. The patient, due to illness, is made dependent on the doctor. Thus the doctor becomes powerful over the patient. What makes the doctor powerful? Because the doctor owns a special recourse, viz. medical expertise.
This talk examines the dynamic process from interactional engagement to dependency, from dependency to resources, and from resources to the creation of power. Such transformation is the mechanism that underlines the populace’s power with a small p. Guanxi(關係) practice, part of everyday life among Chinese communities, is used to demonstrate the populace’s power in action.

About the speaker
Gu, Yueguo (MA., PH.D., Dr. Lit.), professor of linguistics, the Head of Corpus Linguistics Department, Director of Corpus and Computational Linguistics Research Centre, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, and the Director of China Multilingual & Multimodal Corpora and Big Data Centre (BFSY/CASS).

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