Representations of ethnic minorities in China's university media

Zhenzhou ZHAO, Gerard A. POSTIGLIONE

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36 Citations (Scopus)


This paper examines the representation of ethnic minorities in China through a review of campus newspapers, a major print medium in which universities exercise power over the discourse of cultural recognition. Three universities attended by minority students were selected. A two-dimensional mode (content and configuration) is established to analyze ethnic representations. A combination of content analysis and discourse analysis is used to categorize and analyze text and photographs relevant to ethnicity. The study concludes that (1) different discursive practices are employed to construct 'images' of ethnic groups as 'Others' or 'Us'; (2) representations of ethnic minorities and the Han generate three discursive dichotomies between minority and majority: minority groups are distinctive, potentially separatistic, and visible; and the Han people are normative, patriotic, and invisible, respectively; (3) the university media reflects an ideology of 'state multiculturalism' that constructs a reflexive representation of the relationship between majority and minority. Copyright © 2010 Taylor & Francis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-334
JournalDiscourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010


Zhao, Z., & Postiglione, G. A. (2010). Representations of ethnic minorities in China's university media. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 31(3), 319-334.


  • University media
  • Ethnic minority groups
  • Representation
  • China
  • State multiculturalism
  • Discourse


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