From Conflict to Convergence, --Olympic Nationalism Discourse in China--

Friday, 20 July 2018: 18:15
Oral Presentation
Ai SONG, Keio University, Tokyo, Japan
This paper aimed to challenge China’s internet analysis's that focus on empowerment or took the perspective of technology determinism. I take discourse conflict between online criticism and state-oriented mainstream media as example, to indicate that online discourse’s nationalistic characteristics made it easy to be converged to mainstream media discourse.

As internet supplied a platform for alternative voices in China, and first years of 2010 witnessed many cases of online public opinion’s surveillance towards China’s political power, many scholar tend to expect on the empowerment for grassroots. However, by analyzing the nationalistic online and media discourse during Olympics of London games and Rio games, I argue that even in climax of optimism in 2012, nationalism made online discourse easily convergent to mainstream media discourse.

Olympics are “ regularly recurred celebration of a coherent set of values, beliefs and symbols”. Also for both KMT regime and CCP regime, nationalism is used for legitimate China’s regime. Thus, regularly recurring nationalism discourse during Olympics, is a good example for chronological analysis to explore the changing of media environment in China.

By analyzing most commented and retweeted SNS post and mainstream state-oriented media discourse during 2012 London games period and 2016 Rio games, and also series policy of “media convergence” and “internet+” during 2014 to 2015, I argue besides the policy intervention for China’s media, nationalistic characteristic of online discourse is also a reason made it easy to converged to mainstream media discourse.