Research analyzes ‘Chinese virus’ rhetoric and its impact on Chinese and Asian Americans
Theresa Catalano, associate professor in the Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education, and Peiwen Wang, TLTE research/teaching assistant, are analyzing official U.S. government discourse regarding the virus — such as use of the phrase “Chinese virus” — in a variety of news and social media sources, as well as public comments connected to those sources.
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[00:00:12.870]This project is really important in the context
[00:00:15.030]of the COVID-19 pandemic, because it helps us understand
[00:00:18.580]the impact of government discourse
[00:00:20.280]in times of a worldwide health crisis,
[00:00:22.970]and the way in which the politicization of the virus
[00:00:25.360]has had real-life effects on Chinese
[00:00:27.430]and the Asian Americans in the U.S.
[00:00:29.130]We are exploring U.S. government discourse
[00:00:32.330]regarding COVID-19 as it relates to China.
[00:00:36.380]We want to find out what visual
[00:00:38.520]or verbal discursive strategies
[00:00:40.840]were used in U.S. media discourse
[00:00:43.480]to communicate about COVID-19,
[00:00:46.360]and what are the ideologies behind them.
[00:00:49.510]And also, how has this communication
[00:00:52.600]influenced public opinion of Chinese or Asian Americans,
[00:00:57.360]and how has this affected your experiences in the U.S.?
[00:01:02.460]We will be collecting data from several speeches
[00:01:05.190]by Donald Trump that has been shared on YouTube
[00:01:08.550]and regard COVID-19 and China.
[00:01:11.610]We will also study the comments people made
[00:01:14.160]about the speech to gauge their impact.
[00:01:17.100]So we will also analyze counterdiscourse
[00:01:20.230]and the resistance to the discourse on Weibo,
[00:01:23.130]which is China's version of Twitter.
[00:01:25.520]We will utilize critical multimodal discourse analysis
[00:01:30.380]to help unpack the strategies used,
[00:01:33.000]the ideologies behind them and the affordances
[00:01:35.920]that each of the different forms of communication provide.
[00:01:40.290]But in terms of the larger issue,
[00:01:42.280]you know, in combating racism,
[00:01:44.900]we hope that this will lead to the depoliticization
[00:01:47.870]of public health issues in the future.
[00:01:49.890]We plan to send our study to the
[00:01:52.420]Asian Americans Advancing Justice organization,
[00:01:57.020]and they have a newsroom which can report
[00:01:58.800]and disseminate our findings to a larger audience.
[00:02:01.440]And we're hoping that this will reach the leaders
[00:02:03.640]who are tasked with ending systemic racism
[00:02:05.860]against Chinese/Asian Americans in the U.S.
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