The Ideology of Falun Gong: A Critical Discourse Analysis
Ting, Chien Ju
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The present study was influenced by Heather’s (2000) study of critical discourse analysis (CDA) and three key concepts in religious discourse: intertextuality, consumerism and psychology of language (identity and commitment). The study focuses on how modern Falun Gong religious text is constructed and how ideology arises in the text. Corpus analysis and interviews were also used as complementary methodologies, based on the Falun Gong key text ‘Zhuan Falun’. Interviews were additionally conducted with 10 participants form Taiwan (via local telephone-interviews) and 10 participants from China who reside in New Zealand permanently. Despite participants’ differences in nationality, generally, the results from CDA, corpus analysis and interviews showed its promotional nature, its persuasive style with a consumerist-orientation, and its appeal to members as an ‘elite’, as opposed to ‘ordinary people’. It is hoped that this study may improve our understanding of how new sects’ religious discourse works in the 21st century. Furthermore, the study hopes to provide impetus for further studies of CDA and religious language, generally.