Volume 17, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1569-2159
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9862
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Mega discourses, as discourses recognised and espoused at the broader societal level, enact the taken-for-granted premises governing an organisational sector. The dominant power can designate the value, norm and moral duty of an organisational sector through manipulating such mega discourses. Conceptualised within critical discourse studies and Chinese discourse studies, this article assesses the official discourse of China’s third sector circulating in the policy documents, political speeches, and news media, illustrating how China’s authoritarian state utilises discursive strategies to articulate a new order of discourse of the third sector. It argues that such an alternative discursive ordering is significantly different from its western counterpart. The authoritarian state has strategically appropriated historical and cultural resources to legitimise such a “de-SMOisation” process, intending to insulate nongovernmental organisations from social movements. This study concludes with a discussion on the significance and implications of this third sector discourse.


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