Research Project


Popular Belief in Contemporary China - Findings from an Academic Chinese-Language Discourse

PD Dr. Monika Gänßbauer

As a framework for my analysis I had chosen the procedure of „discourse analysis“. It was my concern to trace out a portrait of the discourse actually engaged in by Chinese participants in contemporary discussions. What, then, were the results of my analysis? The enunciations composing this discursive field show a significant intertwining of the discursive levels ‘politics’ and ‘scholarship/science’ in China. The hegemonic discourse, which is prescribed by the national party-state agents and institutions, holds firmly to certain premises, such as the Marxist view of religion, which is compulsory for Communist Party members, and the definition of the People’s Republic of China as a secular state. The activities of popular belief are – in contrast to those of the five recognized religions of China – not protected under the constitution. But there are also to be noted certain tendencies to searching and exploration also on the discursive level of the agents and institutions belonging to the party-state.

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