This paper investigates the conceptual metonymies and metaphors behind SHUI (水, water) and HUO (火, fire), two of the Five Elements (五行, wu-xing) in traditional Chinese thought, as recorded in ancient and modern Chinese. Our analysis shows that: (1) SHUI in ancient Chinese is built around the conceptual metonymies SHUI FOR FEATURES OF WATER, SHUI FOR BODY LIQUID and SHUI FOR BODIES OF WATER and the conceptual metaphors THOSE WITH FEATURES OF WATER ARE SHUI and THOSE WITH FEATURES OF SHUI XING ARE SHUI. (2) HUO in ancient Chinese is built around the metonymies HUO FOR FEATURES OF FIRE and HUO FOR THE POWER/DESTRUCTION OF FIRE and the metaphors THOSE WITH FEATURES OF FIRE ARE HUO and THOSE WITH FEATURES OF HUO XING ARE HUO. (3) SHUI and HUO in modern Chinese show an overall similarity with their ancient counterparts, the main differences being that the metaphor THOSE WITH FEATURES OF SHUI XING ARE SHUI is absent from modern Chinese and that the metaphor THOSE WITH FEATURES OF HUO XING ARE HUO has a much narrower coverage in modern Chinese. We discuss what this kind of selective inheritance suggests about the development of Chinese people’s conceptualization of the world.
‘Context collapse’ (CC) refers to the phenomenon widely debated in social media research, where various audiences convene around single communicative acts in new networked publics, causing confusion and anxiety among social media users. The notion of CC is a key one in the reimagination of social life as a consequence of the mediation technologies we associate with the Web 2.0. CC is undertheorized, and in this paper we intend not to rebuke it but to explore its limits. We do so by shifting the analytical focus from “online communication” in general to specific forms of social action performed, not by predefined “group” members, but by actors engaging in emerging kinds of sharedness based on existing norms of interaction. This approach is a radical choice for action rather than actor, reaching back to symbolic interactionism and beyond to Mead, Strauss and other interactionist sociologists, and inspired by contemporary linguistic ethnography and interactional sociolinguistics, notably the work of Rampton and the Goodwins. We apply this approach to an extraordinarily complex Facebook discussion among Polish people residing in The Netherlands – a set of data that could instantly be selected as a likely site for context collapse. We shall analyze fragments in detail, showing how, in spite of the complications intrinsic to such online, profoundly mediated and oddly ‘placed’ interaction events, participants appear capable of ‘normal’ modes of interaction and participant selection. In fact, the ‘networked publics’ rarely seem to occur in practice, and contexts do not collapse but expand continuously without causing major issues for contextualization. The analysis will offer a vocabulary and methodology for addressing the complexities of the largest new social space on earth: the space of online culture.
Based on two ethnographic studies of people of Latin American descent in global cities, this article explores how language, gender, and ethnicity shape field relations, community membership, and data collection. It examines some of the implications of being positioned intersectionally as an outsider or insider of the community, and being sexualised by a male gatekeeper. It suggests that gender roles are a powerful aspect of conducting ethnographic research among Latinos, while pointing to the challenge of dealing with, and potentially contributing to, essentialising discourses in the field. It argues that the notion of ‘being Latino’ is imagined and constructed interactionally and contextually, in reaction to social pressures, as well as local and historical narratives.
Drawing on the spiral of silence theory and heuristic information processing, we contend that individuals use likes as sources for assessing public opinion. We further argue that individuals may even adapt their personal opinions to the tenor reflected in those cues. The assumptions were tested using data from an experiment involving 501 participants, who encountered media items on two issues with or without likes. The findings show that respondents inferred public opinion from the media bias if it was supported by likes, however, only in cases of high levels of fear of social isolation. Respondents further adapted their personal opinion to the media bias if it was supported by likes.
This article explores contemporary film genre preferences through an in-depth sociological analysis of taste cultures in film preferences amongst youth aged 16–18 in Flanders (the northern Dutch-speaking part of Belgium). Building on a representative sample of 1015 respondents we statistically analyze the assumption that contemporary media audiences demonstrate mobility and that they are eager to shape their media consumption in accordance with their personal preferences. This article examines whether societal structures that have been found to reflect media preferences remain in place, or whether these structures have eroded with the (supposed) increase in individual choice – an argument often voiced in the context of convergence culture. An analysis of the variables gender, educational level and ethnicity illustrates that societal structures are still reflected through film genre preferences amongst Flemish youth.
In bilingual settings language choice represents one of the main resources individuals have to construct their identities. According to Jaffe (2009), it is also a way in which individuals position themselves towards the languages of the sociolinguistic context. However, in the context of researching multilingual settings, very little attention has been paid to how the researcher’s language choice(s) interact with the participants’ language choices, and how the linguistic features that s/he activates contribute to the construction of the researcher’s identity and her/his stance towards the languages of the sociolinguistic matrix within which the research is embedded. This paper is based in the context of Catalonia and explores how the researcher projects and is ascribed a stance as a consequence of her own linguistic practices. First, it shows that these practices lead to the construction of relationships of (dis)affiliation between the researcher and the participants, which ultimately influence the type of data collected. Second, it suggests that language choice is an essential lens through which to look at the researcher’s positionality in multilingual settings and provide more transparent accounts of multilingual ethnographic research.
The European refugee crisis is an important topic on media, political, and public agendas. Due to its scope and impact, its continuing prevalence on the media-agenda and the divisiveness of public debate, new research is needed to understand the media’s framing of the issue. This study inductively analyzes framing of the refugee crisis of 2015–2016 by two Dutch newspapers. Portrayal of the refugee crisis consists of ten different frames and counter frames. The frames are communicated on the level of the refugee, on the level of the crisis as an event, and on a societal level. Results show that recent reporting on the refugee crisis is relatively nuanced and portrays the crisis from a variety of perspectives. Framing changes following certain transitory events, but only slight differences were found between popular and quality papers.