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A rebel and a giant: change and continuity in the discursive construction of Chinese sport heroes
journal contributionposted on 29.10.2021, 10:18 by Xiaoqian Richard Hu, Junjian Liang, Alan BairnerAlan Bairner
The essay examines the changes and continuities in the construction of Chinese national sport hero(in)es after the Beijing 2008 Olympics, and investigates this development in the context of the reform of Chinese elite sport. Through employing Critical Discourse Analysis to interrogate the Chinese sport hero discourse from government-run media concerning two of the most renowned Chinese national sport hero(in)es, the paper identifies the maintenance, albeit with subtle changes, of the traditional nationalist account concerning the athletic and political qualities of Chinese national sport hero(in)es. Concurrently, there are also new features, which are argued to be the consequence of a shift in the political climate in Chinese sport, in the post-2008 construction of national sport hero. The paper concludes with a discussion, from a Foucauldian perspective, of the relationship between the discourse, knowledge and the power of/over discourse in the construction of Chinese elite athletes as national hero(in)es throughout the period.
- Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences