Discourse and the Development of Public Sphere in China

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This article examines public debate over the Wu Ying lawsuit case duringFebruary and March 2012. In particular, it investigates discursive strategiesmade use of by the public to form public opinion and to operate with on theInternet. Starting from the CDA premise that discourse is constitutive in socialpractice and Habermas’ conceptualization of public sphere, the article bringsthe discursive strategies deployed into a discussion in relation to the complexityof the discourse and the development of the public sphere in China. It is foundthat the Internet-related new media devices contribute to the development of apublic sphere in China, and their contribution is facilitated by the deliberate useof discursive strategies as social practice.


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