Publication:
Tuning up the promotional volume: Comparing the About Us texts of top- and second-tier universities in China and America

Loading...
Thumbnail Image
Date
2020
Authors
Teo, Peter
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
Research Projects
Organizational Units
Journal Issue
Abstract
This article focuses on the discursive self-promotion of universities. It aims to investigate how universities make evaluations through linguistic resources that modulate the degree of attitudinal and experiential meaning expression in discourse. The study compares the use of Graduation resources (Martin and White, 2005) in the About Us texts of 160 top- and second-tier universities in China and America. Cross-country and cross-tier comparisons are made by determining the frequencies of the Graduation resources and performing a close analysis of the functions and features of these resources. Findings show that all 160 universities frequently use upscaled Graduation resources to amplify the positivity projected by existing attitudes and to invoke positive evaluations to realize the universities' pragmatic intent of self-promotion. While the top-tier Chinese universities forge the most authoritative institutional image and most distant relationship with readers, the second-tier American universities establish the least authoritative institutional image and closest relationship with their readers. These findings are discussed in light of various factors that co-constitute the ecologies of higher education.
Description
This is the final draft, after peer-review of a manuscript published in Journal of Pragmatics. The published version is available online at http://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2020.01.010
Keywords
Appraisal theory, Graduation resources, Discursive promotion, Chinese and American universities, Top-tier and second-tier
Citation
Xie, C., & Teo, P. (2020). Tuning up the promotional volume: Comparing the About Us texts of top- and second-tier universities in China and America. Journal of Pragmatics, 159, 60-72. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2020.01.010
Collections