Online Chinese nationalism and the discursive construction of a nationalist hero: The case of Jin Jing

Yiben Ma

    Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)


    The rise of popular online Chinese nationalism has been interpreted by many researchers largely as a response to the alleged hostility and threat from foreign enemies. While the perceived enemies play a key role in shaping the dynamics of contemporary Chinese nationalism, little has been discussed so far as to the importance of a nationalist hero in the creation and mobilisation of online Chinese nationalism. This research attempts to address this gap by analysing the online discussion about the case of Jin Jing. Jin Jing, a disabled torchbearer and Paralympic fencer, was praised by Chinese netizens as a national hero after protecting the torch during the Paris leg of the 2008 Beijing Olympic torch relay. By using a critical discourse analysis of online posts relating to Jin Jing and the incident, this paper aims to discuss the processes and interactions in the making of a national hero in a popular media discourse, and how the online discursive practices of creating, worshipping and defending a hero can contribute to the building of the nation.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)97-114
    Number of pages18
    JournalLanguages Cultures Mediation
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2018


    • Chinese nationalism
    • Critical discourse analysis
    • Hero
    • Jin Jing
    • National identity

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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