Revitalization of Fangyan Through Social Media Promotion in China

  •  Haiyan Guo    
  •  Zhijuan Ni    
  •  Zhiying Wang    
  •  Yu Zhang    
  •  Jia Li    


Compared to Putonghua, Fangyan is often indexed with social stereotypes such as lack of education, uncivilization and low-class. However, such negative indexicality of speaking Fangyan has been challenged by the emerging circulation of diverse social media online. Adopting the concept of language as commodity in late capitalism (Heller, 2010), this study examines how Fangyan is constructed and promoted as an index of authenticity and authority, a source of knowledge dissemination and commodified capital. The study argues that the revitalization of Fangyan from below cannot be simply reduced to the celebratory discourse of cultural diversity but should be understood in a wider discourse of language as profit which is subordinated to the power and social relations. The study can shed lights on the promotion of linguistic diversity and intercultural communication.

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