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A cross-cultural comparison of evaluation in classical concert reviews in British and Hong Kong newspapers

Ha, Fong Wa (2017) A cross-cultural comparison of evaluation in classical concert reviews in British and Hong Kong newspapers. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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The present study investigates the rhetorical acts employed in classical concert reviews (CR) in British English and Hong Kong Chinese newspapers. It focuses on the uses of praise and criticism of different strength levels, targeting various aspects of the concert. It also explores the views of British and Hong Kong music critics on writing CRs, and factors which might affect their evaluation. This study adopted a mixed-method approach which consisted of textual analyses of CRs and semi-structural interviews with music critics. Drawing on a modified version of Hyland’s (2000) framework for evaluation in academic book reviews, 150 CRs selected from each language were examined in terms of dimensions and structural patterns of evaluation, and types of praise and criticism differentiated by their strengths. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 14 British critics and 12 Hong Kong critics, which revealed their evaluative styles and factors that might affect their evaluation. Textual analysis results indicated more similarities than differences cross-culturally. Both groups were predominantly evaluative and contained more praise than criticism; more CRs opened and closed positively; evaluation focused primarily on performance; praise was less mitigated than criticism; Booster was the most frequently applied strategy to emphasise praise and criticism; Hedge was the predominant evaluation strategy, though each group also had their own favoured individual strategies to mitigate praise and criticism. Cross-cultural differences were observed upon more detailed examination. Chinese reviews contained more rhetorical acts while English reviews praised more. More English reviews were framed with praise. Only Chinese reviews commented on Concert Management. Interview results showed that British and Hong Kong critics shared more common than different views on evaluation. Cross-cultural differences were nevertheless observed concerning their understanding of the role of the critic and consideration for the readers. In closing, a range of implications regarding the analysis and teaching of evaluation were presented.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: genre analysis, discourse analysis, cross-cultural communication, media discourse
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Language and Linguistics, Department of
Depositing User: Fong Ha
Date Deposited: 04 Apr 2017 14:50
Last Modified: 03 Apr 2020 01:00

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