1st Edition

Social Identity and Discourses in Chinese Digital Communication

Edited By Hongqiang Zhu, Debing Feng, Xinren Chen Copyright 2025
    258 Pages 64 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Examining how diverse social identities are constructed in digital communication in China, this edited collection provides a multi-dimensional exploration of the diverse, discursive forms and practices used to construct and present the “self” online. Contributing authors provide analyses of China’s digital communication platforms, such as social media platforms, news websites and short video applications, drawing from a wealth of data to study daily practices of digital performance of identity and maintenance of social bonds.

    Comprised of nine chapters, this essential volume is divided into three distinct sections, taking a hierarchical approach to analysing social identities within Chinese digital communication at the micro, meso and macro levels. Diverse methodologies are applied throughout, incorporating insights from both linguistic theories and semiotic or textually oriented analyses, while also considering the wider societal contexts.

    Readers are encouraged the analyse the main features of this digital culture and to investigate how language and discourse are encountered through media. This book will be of value to a wide variety of scholars and students in sociolinguistics, communication studies and Asian studies.

    Introduction: Approaching Social Identities and Discourses in Chinese Digital Communication by Hongqiang Zhu, Debing Feng, Xinren Chen

    Part 1: Representation: Pragmatics, Conversations, Corpus Linguistics

    Chapter 1. Chinese Medical Professionals’ Self-identity Construction in Xiaohongshu Medical Knowledge Disseminating Accounts by Xinren Chen, Ruixin Cheng

    Chapter 2. Constructing the Image of a “Corrupt Official” in the Discourse of Weibo Interaction: The Case of “Brother Watch” Event by Debing Feng, Xiaoping Wu

    Chapter 3. Gender performances of male and female politicians on social media: A corpus-assisted discourse study by Ming Liu, Ruinan Zhao

    Part 2: Multimodality and Self-Presentation

    Chapter 4. Visual exclusion: the representation of Chinese youth in a viral video on Chinese social media by Rongle Tan, Yiqiong Zhang, Huiting Dai

    Chapter 5. The presentation of self in ‘travelogues’ on Chinese WeChat Moments by Pan Pan, Hongqiang Zhu, Xinyu Liu

    Chapter 6. Crossing boundaries: How do Chinese influencers navigate pedagogical, therapeutic, and rapport discourses and identities in live streaming commerce? by Panpan Zhang, Tao Xiong, Yi Shi, Qi Huang, Xianghua Yan

    Part 3: Social Identity, Platforms and Social Capital

    Chapter 7. Cultural identities of 'Chinese' Stylen. Up-loaders on digital platforms by Xin Zeng

    Chapter 8. Social media for health campaign and solidarity among Chinese fandom publics during the COVID-19 pandemic by Qiaolei Jiang, Shiyu Liu, Yue Hu, Jing Xu

    Chapter 9. Representing linguistic and cultural diversity in a Chinese video game by Jia Li, Guorong Hao




    Hongqiang Zhu is Professor of Linguistics at Jinan University, Guangzhou, China.

    Debing Feng is Professor of Linguistics at Hangzhou Normal University, China.

    Xinren Chen is Professor of English and Linguistics at Nanjing University and executive director of China Research Center for Language Strategies, China.