The Politics of Fear in Hong Kong Protest Representations: A Corpus-assisted Discourse Study

Ming Liu (Corresponding Author), Jingxue Ma

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


This study gives a corpus-assisted discourse study of the representations of 2019 Hong Kong protests in the New York Times. With the corpus-analytic tools Wmatrix and Wordsmith, it examines both the dominant patterns in its representations and the specific strategies used. The findings suggest that while NYT still draws on the traditional patterns in its representations of Hong Kong protests, it deviates from the protest paradigm in its representations of concerned parties. Meanwhile, emotion discourse has emerged as a distinct strategy in its representations. This is most revealing in the emotion of fear, and a close analysis of its use in its context has revealed its role in the construction of concerned parties and the distrust of Hong Kong people towards the Chinese government.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Language and Politics
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021

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