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The discursive reproduction of Chinese and Japanese national identities: Editorials and opinions of the East China Sea dispute in the China Daily and Daily Yomiuri
Unformatted Document Text:  News, identity and ideology 8 core concepts of ideology and national identity. Theoretical framework This study adopts the critical discourse analysis (CDA) approach to explore the research question of how national identities are constructed and reproduced through newspaper discourse. While there are a variety of approaches to CDA all of them share the view that discourse (as “structured forms of knowledge”) is a form of social practice that is dialectically related to particular contexts, institutions and social structures. It is ‘critical’ in the sense that the CDA practitioners are “fundamentally interested in analyzing opaque as well as transparent structural relationships of dominance, discrimination, power and control as manifested in language” (Wodak & Meyer, 2009, p. 10). Newspapers are important sites of investigation since they project a façade of objectivity and inclusiveness yet the empirical evidence discussed earlier suggest that they also proliferate the dominant ideologies of the ruling elite. Therefore, it is important to investigate how newspapers construct and reproduce ideologies through language. Ideology and identity are two of the most popular concepts in the social sciences yet there is a lack of consensus on what they mean. Therefore, it is important to elaborate on the ontological and epistemological grounding of this study. This paper adopts the CDA approaches of van Dijk (1995, 2009) and De Cillia et al. (1999) because they offer a coherent and complementary meta-framework that links ideology with discourse and integrates well with the social constructivist perspective of national identity (e.g. Anderson, 1991). Adopting a multi-disciplinary and multidimensional approach, van Dijk conceives ideology in the plural as “basic frameworks of social cognition, shared by members of social groups, constituted by relevant selections of sociocultural values, and organized by an ideological schema that represents the self-definition of a group” (p. 248). Van Dijk’s conception has several interrelated components. The social component

Authors: Chan, Michael.
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background image
News, identity and ideology 8
core concepts of ideology and national identity.
Theoretical framework
This study adopts the critical discourse analysis (CDA) approach to explore the 
research question of how national identities are constructed and reproduced through 
newspaper discourse. While there are a variety of approaches to CDA all of them share the 
view that discourse (as “structured forms of knowledge”) is a form of social practice that is 
dialectically related to particular contexts, institutions and social structures. It is ‘critical’ in 
the sense that the CDA practitioners are “fundamentally interested in analyzing opaque as 
well as transparent structural relationships of dominance, discrimination, power and control 
as manifested in language” (Wodak & Meyer, 2009, p. 10). Newspapers are important sites of 
investigation since they project a façade of objectivity and inclusiveness yet the empirical 
evidence discussed earlier suggest that they also proliferate the dominant ideologies of the 
ruling elite. Therefore, it is important to investigate how newspapers construct and reproduce 
ideologies through language. 
Ideology and identity are two of the most popular concepts in the social sciences yet 
there is a lack of consensus on what they mean. Therefore, it is important to elaborate on the 
ontological and epistemological grounding of this study. This paper adopts the CDA 
approaches of van Dijk (1995, 2009) and De Cillia et al. (1999) because they offer a coherent 
and complementary meta-framework that links ideology with discourse and integrates well 
with the social constructivist perspective of national identity (e.g. Anderson, 1991). Adopting 
a multi-disciplinary and multidimensional approach, van Dijk conceives ideology in the 
plural as “basic frameworks of social cognition, shared by members of social groups, 
constituted by relevant selections of sociocultural values, and organized by an ideological 
schema that represents the self-definition of a group” (p. 248). 
Van Dijk’s conception has several interrelated components. The social component 


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