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Title: Olympic ideology and the 2008 torch relay in British and Chinese elite media : a critical discourse analysis
Author: Yang, Mei
ISNI:       0000 0004 0189 7681
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis attempts to explore the discursive construction of Olympic ideology in the 2008 Torch Relay news coverage by the British and the Chinese media. It applies a corpus-based Discourse-Historical Approach in Critical Discourse Analysis (DHA-CDA) to analyse how and why the complexity, contradiction and conflicts in linguistic interpretations of Olympism are demonstrated by the media discourse between East and West. This study first focuses on the underpinning ideology and the study of the media, considering the historical development of Olympic ideology (Olympism) along with the respective mainstream ideologies in Britain (Liberalism) and China (Harmony), as well as the philosophical foundations and prominence of CDA. It then draws on the elaborated analytical approach-corpus-based CDA-in detail to analyse four specially constructed corpora drawn from the China Daily, BBC News and The Guardian. Thereafter corpus techniques including frequency and concordance analysis are applied and results obtained that reveal comparative differences and diachronic shifts across the corpora. Having first described the data, they are then interpreted in their linguistic contexts, and subsequently explained in the broader historical and socio-political contexts surrounding the dynamic life of the Olympic Torch Relay. This study demonstrates that there are contrasting expressions of Olympic ideology in the media discourse of the two countries. At a deeper level, this social practice is revealed to be dominated by the mainstream ideologies of the hosting and participating nations, which have been entrenched throughout their respective histories. The involvement of Britain and China in Olympic history and the relevant socio-political events surrounding the 2008 Torch Relay are explored in order to inform our analysis. The conclusion to this thesis reinforces its significant contribution to the study of Olympism. The Olympic philosophy of integrating diversified ideologies was certainly not manifest in the confrontation between the eastern and western media in 2008. Liberalism and harmony had never confronted each other face to face on the world stage before or attempted to find a common ground on which to coexist as revealed in this study. Based on this, respect for and tolerance of diverse ideology, history and culture will hopefully promote the solidarity and prosperity represented by Olympism in the new era.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Olympics ; Olympic torch relay ; Journalism ; Media ; Sports journalism