Development and Urbanization
Over the past three decades, the state and the Vietnamese Communist Party (VCP) have vehemently exalted identity nationalism through theoretical and practical works aimed at reinventing national myths of the tradition. This “ideological retraditionalization” (Geertz 1973) seeks to give them a new politico-cultural legitimation and solutions to internal strains.
This nationalist discourse will be examined in a neo-Gramscian perspective of hegemony, which is based on moral and intellectual direction and not on coercive domination of the ruling class. Therefore hegemonic discourse allows subordinate voices, especially those of patriotic intellectuals, to take part in national dialogue and to criticize the political lines of the VCP when they are against national interests.
In the national public sphere, the media make marginal figures and voices visible. Whatever the treatment, the media indeed introduce these voices to their agenda-setting and selection of “public problems”. This new visibility regime changes the relationship between political power and the public, while at the same time, weakening the state’s nationalist discourse, especially amid growing uses of the Internet and social networks.
We will take the example of the 2013 Campaign for “the amendment and revision of the 1992 Constitution” in order to examine how the Vietnamese Television Newscast’s coverage treats the voices of the “Proposition 72” group and to what extent this mediatization makes the official nationalist discourse fragile and unpredictable.