Event Title

The Chinese Student Commencement Speech Controversy: A Discourse Analysis of Responding Microblogs

Location

King Building 101

Start Date

4-27-2018 2:00 PM

End Date

4-27-2018 3:20 PM

Abstract

This paper presents a discourse analysis of twenty posts on Sina Weibo (the Chinese Microblog platform) selected from a previously heated discussion under the hashtag, #中国留学生演讲涉嫌辱华# (Chinese student speech suspected of humiliating the nation). The Commencement Speech Controversy started from a commencement speech given by Yang Shuping, a Chinese international student, at the University of Maryland, College Park, in May 2017. This paper examines the history of Liu Xue Sheng 留学生(students studying abroad) and reviews the demographic information of Chinese Netizens and Sina Weibo users. The analysis identifies patterns of language uses and examines how these usages characterizes Chinese Netizens' socio-cultural identities and the multiple dimensions of their attitudes towards the controversy. Said netizens are profiled as middle-class, well-educated city residents. Data reveals a mismatch between the intended audience (American audience) and the unexpected audience (Chinese Netizens), which contributed to the outburst of multifaceted criticism over the event. Expanding the discussion to the general public view of the Liu Xue Sheng identity on Chinese Internet, this paper shows that while the identity and goals of Liu Xue Sheng have changed drastically over time, many Netizens still subject the conduct of Liu Xue Sheng in the 21st century to the traditional expectations and standards.

Keywords:

discourse analysis, Chinese international students, Sina Weibo, microblogs

Notes

Session IV, Panel 12 - Student | Success
Moderator: Libni López, Program Coordinator for Undocumented Student Initiatives in the Multicultural Resource Center

Major

East Asian Studies; Psychology

Advisor(s)

Sheila Miyoshi Jager, East Asian Studies
Paul Thibodeau, Psychology

Project Mentor(s)

Xin Zhang, East Asian Studies

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Apr 27th, 2:00 PM Apr 27th, 3:20 PM

The Chinese Student Commencement Speech Controversy: A Discourse Analysis of Responding Microblogs

King Building 101

This paper presents a discourse analysis of twenty posts on Sina Weibo (the Chinese Microblog platform) selected from a previously heated discussion under the hashtag, #中国留学生演讲涉嫌辱华# (Chinese student speech suspected of humiliating the nation). The Commencement Speech Controversy started from a commencement speech given by Yang Shuping, a Chinese international student, at the University of Maryland, College Park, in May 2017. This paper examines the history of Liu Xue Sheng 留学生(students studying abroad) and reviews the demographic information of Chinese Netizens and Sina Weibo users. The analysis identifies patterns of language uses and examines how these usages characterizes Chinese Netizens' socio-cultural identities and the multiple dimensions of their attitudes towards the controversy. Said netizens are profiled as middle-class, well-educated city residents. Data reveals a mismatch between the intended audience (American audience) and the unexpected audience (Chinese Netizens), which contributed to the outburst of multifaceted criticism over the event. Expanding the discussion to the general public view of the Liu Xue Sheng identity on Chinese Internet, this paper shows that while the identity and goals of Liu Xue Sheng have changed drastically over time, many Netizens still subject the conduct of Liu Xue Sheng in the 21st century to the traditional expectations and standards.