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Title: A social constructionist analysis of the discourse of mental depression in British and Chinese news : a corpus-based study
Author: Wang, Fang
ISNI:       0000 0004 2749 0476
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis investigates the social construction of an increasingly relevant aspect of social life, namely mental depression, in British and Chinese news media over the last two decades, aiming at delivering a contribution to people’s understanding of the link between discourse and the social reality of depression. A discourse is understood as the totality of all the texts that have been produced within a particular discourse community. The special discourse analysed consists of two diachronic corpora including articles in which the lexical item depression or 抑郁症 (yiyuzheng, ‘depression’) occurs in British and Chinese national newspapers from 1984 to 2009. Corpus analysis is complemented by a targeted paraphrase analysis of the paraphrastic content expressed in the context of relevant keywords. My findings suggest that in the British corpus, there has been a circular movement in the construction of the meanings of depression, swinging between a psychological problem that needs psychotherapy and a biochemical condition that needs pharmaceutical intervention. The Chinese corpus constructs ‘抑郁症’ (yiyuzheng, ‘depression’) as a problem that is normally caused by external social factors, and therefore psychological support and improvement of the social environment have been represented as more helpful than medical treatment.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology ; P Philology. Linguistics