Publication details [#55763]

Zeshun, You. 2012. “Confucius Institutes“: A tension between the construction of their cultural educational identity and the colonization of the marketized discourse. Journal of Asian Pacific Communication 22 (1) : 22–40.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
John Benjamins
Journal DOI


Confucius Institutes (kongzi xueyuan) are prescribed by Confucius Headquarters in Beijing a cultural educational identity and the prescription implies that the identity construction may resort mainly to the culture- and education-related discourse, avoiding any use of the economy-relevant discourse. This paper uses Fairclough's interactive perspective toward the relationship between discourse and society, his three-dimensional conception of discourse and the correspondent three-dimensional method of discourse analysis to carry out a detailed analysis of the discourse relevant to Confucius Institutes. The results show that the discourse is overloaded with the marketized languages; it is the final product of the struggle between Confucius Headquarters' initial drive to build up a cultural educational identity for the new institutes and the prevalent marketization trend in the global context. Further discussion reveals that the discourse seduces people to discuss the organization not from the perspective of cultural exchange or educational cooperation but from the perspective of commodification and, more seriously, ruins the initial drive of the Headquarters to construct it a cultural educational identity and betrays the underlying political motive of the construction; the research instantiates again Fairclough's observation that any discourse (practice) in the educational field nowadays can not be fully immune from the invasion of the marketized discourse; it also proves that Fairclough's three-dimensional model of discourse analysis is effective in uncovering the commodified languages embedded in the discourse of various kinds.