Issue Vol. 6, No. 3 / July 2010

Conceptual Challenges to the Paradigm of Communication Research in National and Local Contexts: A Critical Analysis of the Existing Studies in Taiwan
Author(s): Herng Su
click to read abstract Abstract | Read More |
A considerable amount of communication research has been conducted in Taiwan, particularly since 1960. Can communication researchers in Taiwan uncover the latent meaning of local activity and reformulate their own communication research focus? Is it difficult to forge a body of knowledge different from Euro- America-centered research paradigms in communication theory? A central criticism of Taiwan communication researchers is that they subscribe indiscriminately and significantly to theoretical models mostly based on U.S. and Europe. Researchers of communication problems in Taiwan have not acted independently and they have so far failed to build concepts rooted in the particular experience of life from their own perspective. This article attempts to briefly review the so-called paradigm wars of communication research carried out so far in Taiwan and explore s some commonalities between Taiwanese and Western research. The article proposes a few examples to explain why one should be concerned with overall social, economic, cultural, and political factors for different realities in the region in order to adjust the premise, object, and method, of research activities. While much communication research in Taiwan may be rich in concepts and methods from U.S., it is also blamed in forgetting that the obsession with local properties can lead to an undue emphasis on the form of conduct with a neglect of its substance. The last section concludes the possibility of building in this region/community a dogma-free science of communication as well as creating constructs and procedures genuinely appropriate to a non-Western society. [China Media Research. 2010; 6(3):1-12]
The Relation between Media Expenditure and General Economy
Author(s): Linsen Su
click to read abstract Abstract | Read More |
Mass media, as an increasingly important part of modern life, cannot develop independently from the whole society. There should be close economic and social interplays between media and other segments of a society. From the economic perspective, the relation between media industry and other economic segments and the general economy should be interactive. Though there existed a great number of studies on the relationship between media industry and the general economy since the mid 19th century, it was not until the early 1970s that the Principle of Relative Constancy (PRC), which formally states the constant relation between general economy and the media industry and inter-media variations, was first proposed by Maxwell E. McCombs (1972). Then there were a lot of empirical tests as well as conceptual expositions on PRC. The empirical tests turned out to be mixed, especially the more updated findings after the introduction of new media; meanwhile, theoretical explanations went in different directions. This study aims to provide a historical review on PRC-related literature and then point out some possible directions for future research. [China Media Research. 2010; 6(3):13-25]
China's Regulations on Internet Cafés
Author(s): Guosong Shao
click to read abstract Abstract | Read More |
A fatal fire in Beijing's Lanjisu Internet café in June 2002 raised nationwide concern about the country’s burgeoning Internet cafés. This paper revealed China’s ambivalent attitude toward Internet cafés after the fire: on the one hand, the public, especially the parents, became irritated with problems surrounding Internet cafés such as Internet addiction, physical safety, and online violence & pornography; on the other hand, people recognized that Internet cafés made great contributions to the popularization of the Internet as well as the advancement of social and economic well-being in this country. An important question thus was how the Chinese governments responded to the problems caused by Internet cafés. Through a general review and two case studies, this study found that after the Lanjisu fire the governments executed tighter control on Internet cafés nationwide. Furthermore, this study found that multiple government agencies were involved in the establishment of the national and local regulatory regimes; and that various regulatory measures were employed, including the chain-store management model of the Ministry of Culture and the Joint Committee regulatory system of the Shanghai municipal government. While the former measure largely failed, the latter one arguably produced better results. This paper discussed the implications of such regulatory mechanisms as well as the direction of future studies [China Media Research. 2010; 6(3):26-30].
Value Surveys as a Pedagogical Instrument in the Testing of Intercultural Communication
Author(s): Ruobing Chi , Steve J. Kulich
click to read abstract Abstract | Read More |
This paper argues that using value survey forms in intercultural communication (IC) courses is beneficial pedagogically. 1) By completing the survey, the students become more aware of the theoretical value framework. 2) Teachers can use first-hand data to explain the theories. Moreover, the analysis of the data collected in different ways can also enrich the original construct and advance future indigenous studies. Thus, this approach should be advocated and carried on. The application of Kohls’ Value Option Cards (2001, VOC) in one introductory course to IC and the analysis of subsequent data are summarized hereby as an experimental case to support this argument. [China Media Research. 2010; 6(3):31-35]
Shanghai Children’s Value Socialization and Its Change: A Comparative Analysis of Primary School Textbooks
Author(s): Liping Weng
click to read abstract Abstract | Read More |
To gain insight into possible shifts in Shanghai children’s value socialization, two sets of Shanghai primary school Chinese language (Yuwen) textbooks that represent two historical periods in China (mid-1990s and today) were compared. Specifically, four aspects were explored: topics, "culture heroes", political and ideological value orientations, and a group of harmony-related values conceptualized on the basis of Schwartz’s (1992) work. Compared with the 1990s textbooks, those currently in use were found to have the following features: 1) politics witnessed a sharp decrease in significance whereas nationalism was more salient as a political tool for fostering social stability and national solidarity; 2) there was a considerable increase in the percentage of both ancient Chinese and foreign, especially Western, topics; 3) there was a considerable increase in the percentage of non-scientist professionals as "culture heroes"; and 4) certain harmony-related values were much more underscored. The former explicit political and ideological value socialization processes have given way to more implicit ones. The equal emphasis on traditional Chinese and Western topics may reflect the society in transition with a mix of seemingly conflicting values. The role model effect of various professionals seems to signal the salience of the achievement orientation in society. The emphasis on harmony with nature and others is in parallel with the Chinese government’s call for building a harmonious society. The findings have implications for both Chinese value research and Chinese educational authorities’ decision making. [China Media Research. 2010; 6(3):36-43]
Being a Mindful Intercultural Communicator - An Interview with Prof. HU Wenzhong
Author(s): Tong Yu
click to read abstract Abstract | Read More |
This interview was conducted via e-mail with Prof. HU Wenzhong, who is a renowned linguist and the first president of China Association for Intercultural Communication. During the interview, Prof. Hu shared some of his thoughts on Intercultural Communication studies and offered his valuable suggestions regarding the development of Intercultural Communication in China. [China Media Research. 2010; 6(3):44-45]
A New Perspective of Media Research - Book Review of Peiren Shao's Advanced Research of Media Theory
Author(s): Qing Huang
click to read abstract Abstract | Read More |
[China Media Research. 2010; 6(3):46-47]
Media Construction of Pakistan's Image: Discourse Analysis of Editorials of the Elite UK Newspapers
Author(s): Ghulam Shabir, Zafar Iqbal
click to read abstract Abstract | Read More |
This paper aims at exploring image portrayal of Pakistan in elite UK newspapers. Editorials of two widely read newspapers - The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph - published between March 2007 and March 2008, have been selected for analysis. The period selected for analysis was the time when Pakistan was entangled with multiple internal and external crises including suspension of the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Red Mosque issue, suicide bombings, doffing of uniform and re-election of General Musharraf as President, arrest and deposition of Nawaz Sharif, resignations of MPs, Benazir Bhutto’s assassination, arrest of journalists under proclamation of emergency, restrictions on media, stock market crash and economy slump due to the proclamation of emergency. This research study explores as how UK mass media, especially the print media, represents Pakistan and characteristics of the issues they consider salient. The research also explores differences in image portrayal of Pakistan in these two newspapers of contrasting outlook. Further, efforts were made to point out the issues that these newspapers considered significant and prominent. It also investigates nature of the discourse on Pakistan’s role in ‘war on terror’ and other issues of national and international concern. The paper highlights stylistic features in both groups of newspaper editorials. While doing the discourse analysis, corpus-modus operandi was used to study the 'stances' in the editorials. [China Media Research. 2010; 6(3):48-56]
Film, Arts and Culture as Community Outreach Tools: Perspectives from Singapore
Author(s): Victor S.O.Yu
click to read abstract Abstract | Read More |
This article focuses on Singapore’s government using the film and arts both as an economic as well as a community outreach tool. It argues that the evolution of the state arts policy is a function of the economic policy. Its "Creative City" approach is both economically-driven as well as arts-centered. At the same time, policy makers have introduced many strategies to build a vibrant film and arts sector to make the arts more accessible to the community. Cinemas and arts institutions also are seeking ways to increase the public’s access and exposure to their activities. The objective of this study is to understand the effectiveness of the use of film and arts and culture as a community bonding tool. This study raises some of the problems faced by filmmakers, artists and arts organizations. Singapore’s policy makers should seriously consider some of the recommendations made in this study to ensure that the nation remains an attractive place for creative talents to reside in. Both large and small film and arts organizations and institutions play equally important roles in shaping the broad background conditions and context that set Singapore on a socially inclusive and cohesive path to becoming a global creative city. [China Media Research. 2010; 6(3):57-65]
Internet Pornography and Teen Sexual Attitudes and Behavior
Author(s): Ran Wei, Ven-Hwei Lo, and Hsiaomei Wu
click to read abstract Abstract | Read More |
This study examines how Chinese adolescents use varying levels of the interactive feature of Internet pornography and the relationships between such use and their sexual attitudes and behavior. Results of a survey of 1,688 high school students in Taiwan show that about 42.4% of them had used Internet pornography. Use of interactive features of online pornography was found to be associated with acceptance of sexual permissiveness, the rape myth, and sexually permissive behavior. More importantly, findings reveal that as the level of interactivity increases from medium-focused interaction to human-medium interaction, the effects of built-in interactive features of Internet pornography on Chinese adolescents’ rape myth attitudes and sexually permissive behavior become greater. [China Media Research. 2010; 6(3):66-75]
Special Section: Theorizing Asian Communication: Emerging and Evolving Perspectives
Guest Editors: Yoshitaka Miike, University of Hawai‘i at Hilo
Guo-Ming Chen, University of Rhode Island
Sancharyoga: Approaching Communication as a Vidya in Hindu Orthodoxy
Author(s): Nirmala Mani Adhikary
click to read abstract Abstract | Read More |
The article examines whether the discipline of communication can be considered as a vidya (true knowledge) in Hindu orthodoxy. Employing the message- or artifact-oriented research approach, it presents a Hindu perspective on communication with reference to the sadharanikaran model. Observing moksha as the highest of purushartha chatustayas (four goals of human life) according to Hindu belief, the article also presents an appraisal on verbal communication as a means for attaining moksha-in-life. In addition, recognizing that there is provision of different kinds of yoga, such as jnanayoga, karmayoga, and bhaktiyoga, in Hinduism, the article examines whether the process of communication qualifies to be regarded as the sancharyoga. Then, it reveals that communication from the Hindu perspective qualifies to be a yoga, and the discipline of communication can be considered as a vidya in Hindu orthodoxy. [China Media Research. 2010; 6(3):76-84]
Development and Communication in Sri Lanka: A Buddhist Approach
Author(s): Wimal Dissanayake
click to read abstract Abstract | Read More |
Development has been conceptualized in diverse ways. An approach that I find particularly attractive is the one that places a high premium on self-reliance. What I mean by the term self-reliance is (1) the dependence on natural resources as well as human resources of a given country and (2) the willingness to define developmental problems, set goals, and fashion strategies in consonance with the cultural imperatives and traditions of a country. Development efforts are vitally linked to communication. In this article, I wish to focus on the efforts of the Sarvodaya movement of Sri Lanka and examine the relationship between ethical imagination, communication, and development from a Buddhist perspective. By doing so, I intend to draw out the implications for the understanding of Asian approaches to communication. [China Media Research. 2010; 6(3):85-93]
Listening to the Buddha's Own Words: Direct Participation as a Principle of the Teachings of the Buddha
Author(s): Takashi Kosaka
click to read abstract Abstract | Read More |
Buddhism has been described as a religion and everyday philosophy that has had a tremendous impact on Asian societies by underpinning and framing the construction of uniquely Asian communication. Attempts have been made to conceptualize communication influenced by Buddhism and have created insightful models for exploring Asiacentricity in communication studies. Taking into account Buddhism’s origins in India and how the Teachings of the Buddha have been disseminated around the world, the embracement of these teachings and Buddhist practices by people outside of Asian countries has become a subject of recent research interest. This article introduces an ethnographic study at a Japanese Buddhist Association in Denver, CO, USA. In pursuit of divergence in rituals manifested in Buddhist practices, the research involved participation in Buddhist Sunday Services, interviews with reverends, and involvement in other social activities. Throughout the duration of the study, an intriguing notion emerged concerning direct participation, which can be deemed the most fundamental principle of the Teachings of the Buddha. In passing down the Teachings of the Buddha to the next generation, indigenous languages such as NEMBUTSU and AMIDA Buddha are frequently cited in Buddhist reverends’ speeches to promote direct participation through listening to the Buddha’s own words. The article concludes by calling for more studies into the religious and spiritual sides of communication. [China Media Research. 2010; 6(3):94-102]
The Mahatma's Message: Gandhi's Contributions to the Art and Science of Communication
Author(s): Arvind Singhal
click to read abstract Abstract | Read More |
This article investigates Mahatma Gandhi’s life from the disciplinary lens of communication arts and science. It begins by analyzing his symbolic and communicative "acts" - e.g., the Salt Satyagraha and daily spinning - which, by focusing on the aspirations of the poorest-of-the-poor, mobilized a nation against British colonialism. It then reflects on Gandhi’s moral authority and credibility which earned him the moniker of Mahatma ("Great Soul"), and discusses his ethically-anchored rhetorical position on conflict resolution and conciliation. When it comes to embodying and enacting communication praxis, Gandhi has few equals. Communication practitioners, scholars, and strategists must understand the debt they owe to a life keenly observed. [China Media Research. 2010; 6(3):103-106]
Shinmyoung, the Key Concept of Korean Communication Theory
Author(s): Tae-Il Yoon
click to read abstract Abstract | Read More |
Despite the need to build theories that describe, explain, and predict Korean communication phenomena, Korean communication theories have yet to be systematically investigated. In an attempt to fill this research gap, the author views shinmyoung as a key concept underlying communication phenomena in Korea, and tries to clearly explicate the concept of shinmyoung and to theoretically integrate shinmyoung into Korean communication theories. In this preliminary study for a Korean communication theory, the author begins to review the meanings of shinmyoung from diachronic and synchronic perspectives. The author then explores how shinmyoung could be applicable to the communication field and proposes a conceptual model for shinmyoung communication. Finally, the author investigates some research agendas and their methodological issues in the shinmyoung communication theory. In this way, the article sheds light on how shinmyoung communication research as a positive communication study might help to promote delight and happiness in Korean society. [China Media Research. 2010; 6(3):107-117]
You are here: Home Back Issues China Media Research Back Issues China Media Research, Vol. 6, No. 3