Global and Local influences in the Language of Chinese Consumer Magazines
David Machin (University of Örebro)
The media in China have been rapidly changing since the Deng reforms and since China entered the WTO. Many commentators have observed the changes in contents of television and newspapers especially shifting to more lifestyle and celebrity material. But, as with the broader scholarly literature on media globalisation, there has been little detailed empirical research into the nature of these changes, often accepting rather broad and crude notions of what is local and what is global. In this paper I consider how a linguistic approach and Hallidayan inspired visual analysis can help us to look more closely at the npt so much the shifting contents, but at actual changes in language genre, language style and representations of social actors. I Choose samples of women's magazine over 17 years. On one level I consider the way Japan leaves its mark on such magazines. Like western women's these titles offer a kind of freedom, also communicated in terms of language style and genre, but this is not so much an assertive kind of independence, rather one which suggests a retreat from responsibility and individual agency. But nevertheless, in each case consumer capitalism has been able to colonise these values. Language genre and style are one important way that this is accomplished, despite much content that visually appears “local”.