“My turf, i decide”: Linguistic circulation in the emergence of a Chinese youth culture

Qing Z Mcfatter, E. Chen-Chun

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Th is chapter examines the circulation (Spitulnik, 1996) and recontextualization (Bauman and Briggs, 1990) of a Chinese advertisement slogan “wode dipan, wo zuozhu,” (my turf, I decide), and its variants in the form of “my noun phrase, I decide” in youth online discourse. Th e slogan was originally created in 2004 by China Mobile to promote its M-Zone mobile phone service, targeting consumers aged between 15 and 25. It has become immensely popular since 2004 along with the hip-hop song “My Turf,” created for the advertisement campaign and performed by the Taiwanese pop culture icon Jay Chou. The slogan, the song and Chou’s persona project a stance of individuality and rebellion. Over 12,000,000 instances obtained from Google search, including blogs and social-networking websites, demonstrate that the wide circulation of the intertextual series (Hanks, 1986) is facilitated by: (1) the connotations of the word dipan, and (2) the productive syntactic structure, i.e., “my noun phrase, I decide.” Drawing on Bakhtin’s theory of dialogism, we show that the intertextual series index a set of stances that position speakers away from models of traditional Chinese cultural values. The circulation of such stances in youth online discourse mediates the construction of a Chinese youth style that highlights individuality, rebellion, and independence. Th e intertextual series have become a salient linguistic resource for Chinese youth to take stances in their endeavor to establish their own social space.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationChinese Under Globalization
Subtitle of host publicationEmerging Trends in Language Use in China
PublisherWorld Scientific Publishing Co.
Pages79-103
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9789814350709
ISBN (Print)9814350699, 9789814350693
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)

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