Reference : Harmony as language policy in China: An internet perspective
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Arts & humanities : Languages & linguistics
Harmony as language policy in China: An internet perspective
Wang, Xuan [Tilburg University, Netherlands]
Juffermans, Kasper mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Languages, Culture, Media and Identities (LCMI) >]
Du, Caixia [Tilburg University, Netherlands]
Working Papers in Urban Language and Literacies, 93 / Tilburg Papers in Culture Studies, 35
27 / 36
[en] harmony ; language policy ; China ; the Internet
[en] This paper provides an ethnographic understanding of harmony as language policy in China. We ground this understanding in a historical analysis of ‘harmony’ as a distinct traditional Chinese ideal that gradually finds its new expressions through policy in contemporary China. Based on this, we will focus particularly on language practices surrounding ‘harmony’ that are emerging from the Internet, a discursive space and site of policing that is highly diverse while also heavily contested with respect to policing processes, and notably so in the context of the PRC for its stringent measurement of censorship and sensitization of language use. From this perspective of the Internet, we will show empirically that although the state is arguably the strongest stakeholder in implementing the policy of harmony – or, better, harmonization – in the case of China, the actual processes of harmonization through policing online develop in detailed, multidirectional and unpredictable rather than abstract, linear or monofocal ways. The outcomes of such processes are, paradoxically, alternative ideologies of harmony as well as nonnormative use of language. The general implications to language policy will also be discussed.
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