Critical Discourse Analysis of Jack Ma’s Selected Speeches: Language of New Capitalism

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Nipapat Pomat
Suban Keowkanya


“The meaning of a text [always] goes beyond its author” and “the text at all times represent(s) more than the author intended” (Bleicher, 1980, p. 111). In contemporary studies, critical discourse analysis and social research are integrated and cannot be separated entirely. Furthermore, the speeches of worldly influential people are worth analyzing since speeches of important people have been analyzed in order to alert meaning, to gain insight from, to understand logic therein, and to see, if possible, any contradictions in the discourse.

         This study aimed to highlight the language of new capitalism through the selected speeches of Jack Ma in terms of some linguistic features, rhetorical techniques, and contradictions in new capitalism. The samples consist of twelve selected speeches of Jack Ma that were purposefully selected. The three-dimensional model built by Norman Fairclough was used as the analytical framework for this study.

         Some linguistic features were analyzed including nominalization, passivization, modal verbs, personal pronouns, and text structures. The results reveal that each structure was used purposely for presenting his goals and attitudes. The second scope was the process of text: there were various keys of new capitalism that occurred in the selected speeches, such as the language of new technology, the free market, the role of government, and profit. The main part of this study also pointed out that Jack Ma’s words and goals sometimes contradict practice in reality. Alibaba is a giant in the ecommerce world that has won over a number of entrepreneurs and small businesses. It is hoped that the findings of this study are beneficial for further studies.


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