Construction of discursive illusions in the ‘Umbrella Movement’

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22 Citations (Scopus)


Using the Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong as an example, this article explores the construction of discursive illusions in the South China Morning Post’s (SCMP) coverage of the event under discussion. More specifically, the article investigates how a multi-perspective analytical approach, namely that of the discourse of illusion, can allow a closer look at how and to what extent abstract constructs with significant social implications are discursively formed. In this respect, the framework draws on three interrelated components: historicity (habitus as key to the creation of discursive illusions, dealing as it does with the growth and change of perceptions over time), linguistic and semiotic action (subjective conceptualisations of the world give rise to certain linguistic and semiotic actions, often through metaphorical and dominant rhetoric) and the degree of social impact (as language and actions of individuals and groups engender many categories and stereotypes). The analysis reveals the use of various linguistic and rhetorical tools, including insinuation, temporal referencing, metaphor, recontextualisation and (re)framing by the SCMP, the most prominent English newspaper in Hong Kong, in its creation of multiple identity categories.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)407-427
Number of pages21
JournalDiscourse and Society
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Categorisation
  • discourse analysis
  • discursive illusions
  • habitus
  • metaphor
  • multi-perspective analysis
  • structure immediacy
  • umbrella movement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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