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Association and dissociation

The analysis of association/dissociation shows that the Chinese actors are associated and dissociated at rates of 5% and 15%, respectively, compared to the American participants that are associated and dissociated at 5% and 10%, respectively. India is attributed the dissociation category at 5%. Africa, South Korea, North Korea, the West, the UK, and Asia, however, are neither associated nor dissociated. Here is an example of the association between the Chinese and American actors:

1. How China is like 19th century America A19C

In A19C, China is associated with the nineteenth-century United States through the use of the adverb ‘how’ and the preposition ‘like’ to denote ‘in what way’ and ‘similar to’, respectively. From the semantic perspective, the comparison to the United States of two centuries ago implies a dissociation between present-day China and the United States in the twenty-first century. In terms of economics, it could be a reference to America’s role in the nineteenth century as a major and growing producer. It could equally, for example, be a headline that concerns trade protectionism not growth.

  • 1. US-China friction: Why neither side can afford a split A1C
  • 2. Is Google the omen of a US-China trade war? A7C

A1C and A7C show that the dissociation between the Chinese and American actors can be realised through the lexical choice of ‘friction’, ‘split’, and ‘war’, which denote a state of competition and hostility between groups that are pitted against each other in bilateral trade and other issues. Furthermore, both actors can be dissociated from each other by means of parataxis, which places clauses one after another without words indicating coordination or subordination, as shown in A 1C. ‘US-China friction’ in the first clause highlights the state of bilateral relations, followed by the choice of the noun ‘split’ in the second clause that further reveals the division between both countries. This has the effect of creating group polarisation: an in-group and an out-group. Since Time is an American newsmagazine with a sizeable American readership, the formation of an in-group (the United States) and an out-group (China) leads to an us-versus-them scenario.

1. Economy and policy: India vs China: Which is the best role A16C

model for the developing world?

The headline in A16C shows that the dissociation between the Chinese and Indian actors in the growth model topic can be realised through the use of parataxis, whereby the two key actors ‘India vs China’ in the second clause are brought to the attention of the readers for the first time in the issue concerning ‘economy and policy’ indicated in the first clause, followed by the third clause where readers have to compare the development model of both countries and choose one that best fits developing countries’ needs.

1. As China economy grows, so does labor unrest A8C

Not only can dissociation transpire between China and another country, as the examples above involving China, the United States, and India show, the different elements that make up the Chinese social actor can also be dissociated from each other. As A8C shows, China’s economy is dissociated from its labour through the use of the conjunctions ‘as’ and ‘so’, which imply a causal relationship between a larger Chinese economy and the rise in workers’ dissatisfaction.

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