Sacrificing long hair and the domestic sphere: Reporting on female medical workers in Chinese online news during Covid-19

Xinmei Sun, Małgorzata Chałupnik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

In the context of the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, female medical staff constituted a large proportion of frontline healthcare workers in China, with 50% of doctors and over 90% of nurses being women. In this paper, we aim to examine how these medical workers were represented at the start of the pandemic in online news reports posted on one of China’s most popular social media platforms, Weibo. In the paper, we draw upon corpus-based critical discourse analysis, comparing representations of female medical workers to those of medical workers in general. We observe that not only are female medical workers portrayed through a predominantly gendered lens, but they are also subordinated to the needs of the state. We consider the role played by state-controlled media in regulating the position of (working) women in society and probe into rhetorical means through which this is achieved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)650-670
Number of pages20
JournalDiscourse & Society
Volume33
Issue number5
Early online date19 May 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding
The author(s) received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article

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