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postgraduate thesis: Triad discourse in three social domains : a critical discourse analysis

TitleTriad discourse in three social domains : a critical discourse analysis
Authors
Issue Date2017
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Wong, M. P. [黃文達]. (2017). Triad discourse in three social domains : a critical discourse analysis. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR.
AbstractThis study investigates the range of possible interpretations and characteristic features of triad discourse in Hong Kong. It focuses on three socially salient and theoretically significant domains, namely online communities, the cinematic universe and the lifeworld. The study of triad discourse in these three spaces reveals distinct and yet interacting realizations. Through analyzing discourse by and about triads from a multifaceted perspective, this study offers new insights into the holistic construction of triad identities and their dynamic and contextual nature. Research data were collected through six sources of information, namely local online communities, film productions, religious/rehabilitative organizations, (ex-)triad members, disciplinary forces of the government and the press. To examine and interpret the data, this study has adopted the conceptual and theoretical framework of Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA), in which three particular strategies i.e. Dialectical-Relational Approach, Discourse-Historical Approach and Sociocognitive Approach were selected. The results indicate that triad texts in online communities are heteroglossic and polyphonic. Prominent features of intertextuality and interdiscursivity can be easily identified. Ideological contestation as well as various types of problematization occurs frequently. Online triad members and other Internet users are almost always in a rhetorical posture of confrontation. Discursive strategies for negotiation or resolution have been theorized. The two major social tendencies i.e. liberalization and technologization which have made a significant impact on the contemporary orders of online triad discourse have also been discussed. As for the triad evolution in the cinematic world, this study proposes that Hong Kong triad movies are consistently governed by a dominant primary and a variable secondary discourse. The primary discourse is persistent and unchanging, encompassing a triumvirate of underworld paradigms and an intermixing of intrapsychic conflicts with situational dilemmas. It is a discourse of negative emotions. By contrast, the secondary discourse is shifting and context-dependent. It is indicative of a particular thematic preference, cinematographic mode of expression and sociocultural tendency of a specific period of time in history. The third investigative domain concerns an ethnographic study of triad mentality in the lifeworld. In particular, the mental representations and context models of two senior triad office-bearers were explored in order to find out how the notion of ‘triad’ is interpreted specifically from a criminal perspective. It is worth stressing that a clear definition cannot be agreed even between the two expert informants themselves. The results imply that the construct of ‘triad’ is extremely elusive, both from an insider perspective and for the external observer or investigator. This doctoral thesis is the first of its kind in Hong Kong. It illustrates how triad societies and their discursive practices, interactional patterns and ideological assumptions can be deconstructed and understood from the angle of CDA. In addition, this thesis highlights the fact that research on Hong Kong triads has remained largely stagnant in the 21st century and it is hoped that this study will stimulate a new series of studies that engage critically with the triad phenomenon in relation to dynamically evolving social conditions and modes and patterns of communication.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectChina - Triads (Gangs) - Hong Kong
Discourse analysis
Dept/ProgramEnglish
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/252781
HKU Library Item IDb5864162

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorWong, Man-tat, Parco-
dc.contributor.author黃文達-
dc.date.accessioned2018-05-04T08:24:34Z-
dc.date.available2018-05-04T08:24:34Z-
dc.date.issued2017-
dc.identifier.citationWong, M. P. [黃文達]. (2017). Triad discourse in three social domains : a critical discourse analysis. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR.-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/252781-
dc.description.abstractThis study investigates the range of possible interpretations and characteristic features of triad discourse in Hong Kong. It focuses on three socially salient and theoretically significant domains, namely online communities, the cinematic universe and the lifeworld. The study of triad discourse in these three spaces reveals distinct and yet interacting realizations. Through analyzing discourse by and about triads from a multifaceted perspective, this study offers new insights into the holistic construction of triad identities and their dynamic and contextual nature. Research data were collected through six sources of information, namely local online communities, film productions, religious/rehabilitative organizations, (ex-)triad members, disciplinary forces of the government and the press. To examine and interpret the data, this study has adopted the conceptual and theoretical framework of Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA), in which three particular strategies i.e. Dialectical-Relational Approach, Discourse-Historical Approach and Sociocognitive Approach were selected. The results indicate that triad texts in online communities are heteroglossic and polyphonic. Prominent features of intertextuality and interdiscursivity can be easily identified. Ideological contestation as well as various types of problematization occurs frequently. Online triad members and other Internet users are almost always in a rhetorical posture of confrontation. Discursive strategies for negotiation or resolution have been theorized. The two major social tendencies i.e. liberalization and technologization which have made a significant impact on the contemporary orders of online triad discourse have also been discussed. As for the triad evolution in the cinematic world, this study proposes that Hong Kong triad movies are consistently governed by a dominant primary and a variable secondary discourse. The primary discourse is persistent and unchanging, encompassing a triumvirate of underworld paradigms and an intermixing of intrapsychic conflicts with situational dilemmas. It is a discourse of negative emotions. By contrast, the secondary discourse is shifting and context-dependent. It is indicative of a particular thematic preference, cinematographic mode of expression and sociocultural tendency of a specific period of time in history. The third investigative domain concerns an ethnographic study of triad mentality in the lifeworld. In particular, the mental representations and context models of two senior triad office-bearers were explored in order to find out how the notion of ‘triad’ is interpreted specifically from a criminal perspective. It is worth stressing that a clear definition cannot be agreed even between the two expert informants themselves. The results imply that the construct of ‘triad’ is extremely elusive, both from an insider perspective and for the external observer or investigator. This doctoral thesis is the first of its kind in Hong Kong. It illustrates how triad societies and their discursive practices, interactional patterns and ideological assumptions can be deconstructed and understood from the angle of CDA. In addition, this thesis highlights the fact that research on Hong Kong triads has remained largely stagnant in the 21st century and it is hoped that this study will stimulate a new series of studies that engage critically with the triad phenomenon in relation to dynamically evolving social conditions and modes and patterns of communication.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.-
dc.subject.lcshChina - Triads (Gangs) - Hong Kong-
dc.subject.lcshDiscourse analysis-
dc.titleTriad discourse in three social domains : a critical discourse analysis-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5864162-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineEnglish-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-

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