Interdiscursivity, social media and marketized university discourse: A genre analysis of universities’ recruitment posts on WeChat

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The joint force of social media and marketization has transformed university communication in terms of style, discourse structure, and communicative purpose. To understand its new features in comparison with print media, this paper analyzes a corpus of universities’ recruitment posts on WeChat in China. Using the method of genre analysis, the study identifies 8 moves which serve 5 different communicative functions. Each move is analyzed in terms of its salient semantic features and linguistic/visual strategies of realization. Analysis shows that WeChat recruitment posts are characterized by (1) an interdiscursive mix of a wider range of communicative functions, particularly the coexistence of policy discourse and promotional discourse, (2) sophisticated hierarchies of talents wanted and highlighted remuneration information, (3) the use of personalized language and multimodal resources such as photographs and tables to engage readers’ interest and to build solidarity. The new features are then discussed critically in relation to the ongoing ‘recruitment hype’ in China and the affordances of WeChat.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-134
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Pragmatics
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019


  • China
  • Genre analysis
  • Interdiscursivity
  • Multimodality
  • Social media
  • University recruitment discourse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Artificial Intelligence

Cite this