Political Discourse in Chinese Urban Community : Pragmatic Utility and Ideological Fatigue

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)863–877
Number of pages15
Journal / PublicationJournal of Contemporary China
Issue number143
Online published20 Sept 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2023


China’s urban community is an important venue to examine the function of political discourse. Drawing on the theory of strategic action field, this article regards community as a field where officials act as incumbents, citizens as challengers, and the political discourse as an internal governance unit. The empirical data from multiple cities demonstrates that political discourses have facilitated the incumbents with several pragmatic utilities such as assuring the state’s dominance, mobilizing citizens’ participation, and disciplining residents’ regular behaviors. Meanwhile, these discourses have met the problem of ideological fatigue. Local officials’ hypocritical identification and citizens’ disguised conformity disenable the Party-state to win recognition from both citizens and officials. The findings of this article enrich the current study of political discourse with a new perspective.