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「人老傳播」研究群簡介 時間:2015-02-11

「人老傳播」研究群簡介

1997 ~ 迄今)

「做研究」總與人的生命歷程有關。站在二十一世紀初的某個生命節點,我們遇到了許多人生衝擊,因而開始內轉並試圖拋開一切傳播效果的討論。從「老人」這個特殊群體身上發現了「時間」與「情感」兩大座標,交織而成一個個豐富的生命故事與一段段敘事的美學;畢竟,沒有時間、沒有情感也就沒有生命了。

研究群於1997年成立。現有成員20餘位,除臧國仁、蔡琰二位共同主持人外,另有協同主持人五人,研究成員主修領域多與傳播有關,另有成員主修戲劇、歷史、中文等,多元且多樣。

十餘年來之研究主題迭經調整,如1999-2000年左右係以「新聞美學」為主,其因多受到台灣 921地震及美國911雙子星大樓倒塌後等重大自然與人為災難之影響,試圖引進「美學」概念用以思考災難新聞報導如何得能寫得動人,以期啟迪人心、滌清情緒,進而激勵人心,珍惜生命。

採取「美學」取徑討論傳播現象誠屬極大挑戰,幾已顛覆了研究者早期偏重社會科學之學術訓練內涵,研究理念從而有了根本調整,關心對象漸由「實證」而趨「敘事」,由「驗證」而趨「個案」,由「理性」而趨「感性」;影響所及並也促使個人人生觀邁入不同境界,從此愈形人文導向。

2005年以來之研究興趣多在「老人傳播」並以此為研究群之名,聚焦於敘事理論「生命故事」,持續探索「感性」、「詩性」、「人文性」與傳播之關連,期能體驗並連結研究(教學)與生命歷程。

2008年2-6月兩位共同主持人開設完成「老人與(生命)傳播」通識課程,成為國內大學之首例,內容涵蓋「老人研究史」、「老人語言溝通現象」、「老人之媒介形象」、「老人與大眾媒介之互動」、「老人與生命現象」、「老人與敘事(情感、情緒、美學欣賞)」等,頗獲學生肯定。其後此課持續並以隔年方式開授,最近一次為2014年一月至六月。

研究群十年來每年參加「中華傳播學會」發表論文,隨即改寫投稿在一級中文期刊如《中華傳播學刊》、《新聞學研究》等,篇數已逾十篇,2012年並完成《老人傳播:理論、研究與教學實例》專書,將多年來之研究成果與心得集結成冊,是為中文學術社區迄今唯一相關專書。

十餘年來,研究群培育了六十位以上的研究助理,每週開會討論相關議題交換看法並形成新的研究議題。這些研究助理在研究群裡從陌生到成熟、從清嫩到厚實、從寡言到多言,畢業後也都能獨當一面發展職涯生活,而研究群也在他們的持續投入與分享過程裡茁壯。

2014年始,研究群決定更名為「人老傳播」藉以展現對「老齡/生命變化」而非「老人/年」的重視。自此,新的研究主題正在醞釀並執行,包括「老人與家庭傳播的關係」、「跨世代傳播」、「家庭日常生命故事」、「老齡與藝術」等,期能掌握華人傳播研究的特質,開發更多「人文取向」的研究內涵,持續發展與生命(人性)關懷有關的傳播敘事研究。



Any research inevitably takes place in the context of people’s lives. At times in the early 21st Century, we encountered shocks that caused us to turn inward and left us unable to engage in effective, communicative discussion. Our research has hence discovered that the elderly weave “time” and “affect” together into rich life stories that utilize an episodic narrative aesthetic. It therefore follows that an absence of time and an absence of affect equate to an absence of life.

Formed in 1997, the team now has more than 20 members, including co-principal researchers Profs. Kou-Jen Tsang and Yean Tsai, and five coordinating researchers. Most of the team’s members work in the communication field, though some of its members hold different backgrounds such as theatre, history or Chinese literature. 

The team has made adjustments to its research foci over the last two decades. For example, in the period around 1999-2000, the group responded to the influence of natural and man-made disasters, including the Chichi Earthquake in Taiwan and the attack on the World Trade Center in the United States, by attempting to apply aesthetic concepts to an analysis of how disaster reportage sought to touch audiences in an effort to edify, clear away emotions, and encourage them to cherish life. 

Employing aesthetics to steer discussion of contemporary media phenomena represented a serious challenge that nearly turned on its head the researchers’ early academic training, which was weighted towards the social sciences. The new approach brought about a fundamental shift in their thinking about research, turning its object from the “empirical” to the “narrative”, from “verifiable” to “exploratory,” and from the “rational” to “affective.” It also affected the researchers’ worldviews, taking them in a more humanistic direction. 

Since 2005 the main research interest has been associated with “communication and gerontology” and applied it to the team’s title, focusing on life stories associated with narrative paradigm, continued to investigate the links between communication and the sentimental, the poetic, and the humanistic, with the objective of linking research (and education) to the lifespan. 

From February to June 2008, the team’s co-hosts taught the first “communication and gerontology” course offered by a Taiwanese university. Course topics included the history of gerontological research, language and communications phenomena of the elderly, media representations of the elderly, interactions between the elderly and the mass media, the elderly and life events, and the elderly and narrative (affect, emotion, and aesthetic appreciation). The course was well received by students. Since then the course has continuously offered in a pace of every other academic year, and the most recent one was done in Jan.-June, 2014.

In the last 10 years or so, the co-hosts have continuously attended the annual conferences sponsored by the Chinese Communication Society to read their research papers, and then published more than 10 articles in top tier Chinese academic journals such as the Chinese Journal of Communication Research and Mass Communication Research. In 2012 the two co-hosts published Aging and Communication: Theory, Research and Teaching Applications, a book accumulated their research results on the aging subject. So far it is the only such publication devoted to the aging communication research in the Chinese academic circle.
 

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