Linguistics and English Language

Language in context seminar

Speaker: Dr Yan Jiang (蒋严) (SOAS University of London)

Title: Suspicion, Resilience and Reliance on WeChat: the Chinese Community in London in the Covid Years

Abstract: In this talk, I report initial findings resulting from a study on the UK-based Chinese people’s perception of covid-19 and related events, which is part of a larger UKRI project titled “Cultural translation and the interpretation of Covid-19 risks among London's migrant communities” conducted at SOAS, with Dr Nana Sato-Rossberg as the PI. There are over half a million Chinese people living, working or studying in the UK. However, most do not stick together and have nothing to do with the local, exclusive Chinese communities. The Chinese are self-segregated by their territorial, dialectal and historical backgrounds that relate back to their home places. They greet each other with suspicion and competition. They are reluctant to be interviewed, and they are very uncomfortable with the idea of being interviewed as a group, especially during the covid years. They have come up with unique accounts of incidents happening around them. And they are heavily influenced by the very large data pushed onto them through WeChat, which literally creates a virtual Chinese community. I discuss specific cases and views gathered from the interviews and surveys, while observing the influence of home country Chinese discourse on the Chinese readers whose lives are more and more reliant on WeChat.


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Nina Markl

József Wells

Co-ordinators of LinC

May 20 2022 -

Language in context seminar

2022-05-20: Suspicion, Resilience and Reliance on WeChat: the Chinese Community in London in the Covid Years

Online via link invitation