From Being a Problem to Having Problems: Discourse, Governmentality and Chinese Migrant Workers

Marielle Stugum Gleiss takes on the political effects of the new discourse on Chinese migrant workers that emerged in the 2000s, and how this discourse is contested by an alternative discourse.

Abstract

This article analyzes the political effects of the new discourse on Chinese migrant workers that emerged in the 2000s, and how this discourse is contested by an alternative discourse. The article demonstrates how the new discourse has facilitated socialist-liberal governance by transforming migrant workers into self-governing individuals. Moreover, the article argues that socialist-liberal governmentality is based on a post-political understanding that promotes a society without structural differences and reformulates social problems as individual deficiencies. Based on a discourse analysis of Chinese newspaper coverage, the article analyzes how this post-political myth is contested by an alternative understanding of society that repoliticizes migrant workers and their problems. In conclusion, the analysis points to how media discourses can contest governmental projects.

 

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Av Gleiss, Marielle Stugum
Publisert 9. mai 2017 11:46 - Sist endret 9. mai 2017 11:46