Slogans with Chinese characteristics: The political functions of a discourse form

Jianlin Song, James Paul Gee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


This article investigates a distinctive linguistic device – slogans – in the discursive ecology of the history, culture and politics of China. We are interested in how a given language device, one that might seem trivial, can carry out different distinctive and important functions in particular cases. Slogans in China are an important way to carry out a function that all states must engage with: to encourage and teach people to see themselves as ‘co-citizens’ in the state. At the same, this function also and always links to important ideological goals and intersects with the state as a source of coercive power. This article is a first step in a larger project to study the discursive tools used, in different ways in different societies, to accomplish the civic and ideological goals of states. So, China here is a case study, an important one to start with, given the significance of modern China in the global world today.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalDiscourse and Society
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019


  • Chinese slogan
  • Communist Party of China
  • discourse analysis
  • political function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Linguistics and Language


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