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Critical Discourse Analysis through Comparison of Political Discourses in Korean Society on the Conflicts between U.S. and China

  • Cross-Cultural Studies
  • 2019, 56(), pp.413-444
  • DOI : 10.21049/ccs.2019.56..413
  • Publisher : Center for Cross Culture Studies
  • Research Area : Humanities > Literature
  • Received : August 10, 2019
  • Accepted : September 3, 2019
  • Published : September 30, 2019

CHOI TAE HOON 1

1건국대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Using critical discourse analysis, this study aims to examine the characteristics and functions of 1) political and media discourses produced by experts in the Korean society in the face of the conflicts between the U.S. and China, 2) the intertextuality between expert discourse and public opinion, and 3) the social practice of discourse that operates in relation to social structural problems. A number of YouTube channels, ‘Choi Kyung-young’s Economic Show: Jeon Byung-seo vs. Kwak Soo-jong’, and ‘Kim Mi-kyung TV: Choi Byung-il vs. Lee Sung-hyun’ are selected to examine the utterances of the experts within as well as the comments of the viewers for qualitative analysis. The results show that first, Jeon Byung-seo vs. Kwak Soo-jong’s respective pro-Chinese and pro-American tendencies are characterized by a contrasting argumentative debate structure, while Choi Byung-il vs. Lee Sung-hyun’s were considered to be a collaborative problem-solution discussion structure. In the first channel, the ambiguous pro-China stance of Jeon Byung-seo using indirect speech methods was contrasted with the resolute pro-U.S. stance of Kwak Soo-jong using direct method speech methods. By contrast, in the discussion between Choi Byung-il and Lee Sung-hyun, both participants agree on most of the issues relating to questions like 'What is the nature of the U.S.-China conflict? What is Huawei? Is it valid to maintain the contemporary diplomatic strategy: Korean security relies on the U.S. whereas its economy depends on China? What is the identity of the Republic of Korea?' and so forth. They both adopt an open problem-solving method that reserves their ideological stances and encourages listeners to judge and choose between the “pro-American” or “pro-Chinese” position themselves. Second, the results of the analysis of the ‘Choi Kyung-young’s Economic Show’ on the intertextuality between the experts’ discourse and the viewers’ public opinion were based on personality reviews of the panelists, which mostly consisted of praise for Jeon Byung-seo and criticism for Kwak Soo-jong. This was interpreted as an indirect expression of the listener's ‘pro-Chinese’ tendencies through character reviews. Conversely, the results of the ‘Kim Mi-kyung TV’ comment analysis showed a clear ideological orientation that was “pro-U.S. & anti-China” as well as fear and antipathy toward the “Chinese Communist Party.” Interestingly, there were no “pro-China” comments. Third, the link between social structure and discourse was described with a focus on the changes in American national strategy and the all-around measures for China announced by U.S. Vice President Pence in his Hudson speech. The following three points were explained: 1) the declaration of the New Cold War regime by the U.S., 2) the establishment of the Committee on the Present Danger (CPD): China, and 3) details on the clash of civilizations. Then, the points of China's counterargument were explained. Furthermore, it is discussed that Korea has faced a situation similar to a proxy war between the U.S. and China because it has been forced to select one country between the two. Ultimately, this research explored the implications of the current construction and reconstruction of the “pro-U.S.” or “anti-China” ideologies.

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