Media and Communication Ph.D. Dissertations


The Re-Construction of the Taiwanese Identity in the Process of Decolonization: The Taiwanese Political Songs Analyses

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Communication Studies

First Advisor

John J. Makay (Committee Chair)

Second Advisor

Radhika Gajjala (Committee Member)

Third Advisor

Alberto Gonzalez (Committee Member)

Fourth Advisor

Donald McQuarie (Committee Member)


The purpose of this study is to discuss the identity-building, -changing, and -reconstructing process during the postcolonial period in Taiwan. By applying the theoretical framework of postcolonialism and the perspective of critical rhetoric, the discussions and analyses in this study examine the opposing positions between the superstructure and subaltern, the relationship between hegemonic authorities and people's resistance in the transition process among different identities, and all types of factors that influence the changes of national identity in Taiwanese society after WWII. The rhetorical artifact in this study is Taiwanese political songs. As very powerful rhetorical tools, songs sung on political occasions are full of political meanings to present voices from both colonizer and colonized. Following historical trends, different types of political songs are selected to reveal different perspectives of political standpoints. By analyzing examples of Chinese patriotic songs under martial law, Taiwanese protest songs during the post-martial law period and early 1990s, and theme songs of large contemporary social movements, this study attempts to investigate the (re)construction of the Taiwanese identity in the process of decolonization.