Lutgard Lams, Wendy Weile Zhou

Humorous Ambiguity and Dissimulation as Discursive Vehicles for Political and Social Critique in Chinese Society

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Parody, Memes, Dissimulation, Chinese Satire, E-Gao.

In a suppressing authoritarian environment, Chinese Internet users creatively package subversive messages with humor in everyday scenarios. This article synthesizes social contexts and linguistic insights to demonstrate how discursive practices of dissimulation, including code words, euphemisms, neologisms, loan words and puns, facilitate the amplification of alternative voices in online satire and parody. Specifically, beyond the binary ‘info control/resistance’ paradigm, it delineates, through a semiotic lens, the multi-faceted nature of Chinese public discourse, i.e. a mixture of entertainment, networking and resistance, and identifies the interplay between individualistic political engagement and nationalistic fervor in the current Chinese socio-political climate. Therefore, this article suggests the robustness of counter-discourse relies on the intersection between politics, youth culture, technology, and internet semiotics, and indicates that the interaction between the dominant and subversive narratives is ever-evolving.

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