Loughborough University
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An analysis of Chinese olympic and elite sport policy discourse in the post-Beijing 2008 Olympic Games era

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posted on 2015-05-08, 11:41 authored by Xiaoqian (Richard) Hu
This thesis has sought to investigate the development of Chinese elite sport policy after the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games through examining the evolution of the Chinese Olympic discourses and elite sport policy discourses with emphasis on the power and interests reflected and constructed within and by these discourses. This study adopts a Critical Discourse Analysis approach, (founded on Critical Realist premises). The discourse analysis protocol employed is modified from Fairclough s (2005, 2009) framework, also known as Dialectical-Relational Approach, to examine the constitution and implementation of power at the meso and micro levels of relationships within Chinese elite sport. The analysis is based on archival material and semi-structured interviews. Rather than providing a detailed chronology of the Chinese Olympic movement and of Chinese elite sport, the analysis, divided into two main parts, starts with identifying critical periods as the start line of the analysis and points of division that separate these periods. The analysis of the pre-2008 era starts with the year 1993, in which the first Olympic bid by China failed and the second significant reforming policy of Chinese elite sport was published. This section of the thesis consists of an analytic description of the development of Chinese elite sport policy and the analysis of Chinese Olympic discourse and elite sport discourse before the 2008 Olympics. The post-2008 section contains the analysis of these two discourses after the Beijing Games, and develops case studies of three sports, baseball, diving and table tennis, attempting to unveil the development of Chinese elite sport policy in the post-2008 era. From 1993 to 2012, a consistent feature was the concurrent requirement of both reform and of satisfactory elite sport performance, was maintained in Chinese elite sport policy discourse. The power of discourses in relation to these dual goals has varied across the period, has been influenced by a number of factors, and has been maintained by the dominant group within Chinese society and within Chinese elite sport exercising their power over discourse. The thesis argues that the characterisation of Chinese elite sport and of its development has varied with the change in the power relationship between the two sets of goals, which has significantly influenced the key developments and change in Chinese elite sport policy and its governance system.





  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences


© Xiaoqian Hu

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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.


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