Richard Fitzgerald 教授：中國社交媒體越來越領先 Professor Richard Fitzgerald: Chinese Social Media Is Getting Ahead
Richard Fitzgerald 教授發表演講
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11月2日，Richard Fitzgerald教授受邀參加由廣東外語外貿大學高級翻譯學院舉辦的“2019年翻譯與國際傳播高層論壇”，並在會上發表了題為“Challenges and Opportunities for Discourse Analysis – WeChat is not Facebook”（“話語分析面臨的挑戰與機遇 —微信不是臉書”）的主旨演講。會後，Richard Fitzgerald教授分享了自己從社會學到傳播學的研究歷程及本次參會的感受。
Professor Richard Fitzgerald: Chinese Social Media Is Getting Ahead
November 2, Professor Richard Fitzgerald was invited to the “2019 Advanced Forum on Translation and International Communication” organized by the School of Interpreting and Translation studies, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, and presented the keynote speech “Challenges and Opportunities for Discourse Analysis-WeChat is Not Facebook”. After the conference, Professor Richard Fitzgerald shared his research experience from sociology to communication and his thoughts at the conference.
From PhD in Sociology to Professor of Communication
Professor Fitzgerald is a special professor of communication because he studies sociology, or formal sociology from his undergraduate to PhD. Most sociologists usually need to get a lot of research materials through asking questions and interviews, while Professor Fitzgerald’s formal sociology research looks to observe and understand what people are doing. During the period of completing his PhD dissertation, he used radio talk shows to observe how people describe their world and express their understanding of the world through radio shows, and has sociology to work in linguistics, journalism and communication departments.
Professor Fitzgerald conducted his postdoctoral research at the Center of Language and Communication, Cardiff University, and was later invited to join the Department of Communication, University of Queensland, Australia. Although trained in sociology has been based mostly in linguistics and communication and most of his research is in these areas. It was the background of sociology that made him proficient in sociology research methods. He conducts in-depth explorations in sociolinguistics and media discourse, and has achieved rich research results. After moving between many universities around the world, he was invited by the Department of communication, University of Macau, and is currently teaching and researching in the Department of Communication at the University of Macau. According to Professor Fitzgerald, communication and sociology are intertwined disciplines which are designed to observe people’s behavior and study the purpose and meaning of their behavior.
WeChat: A Fascinating Super App
Professor Fitzgerald shared recent research on social media conducted at the University of Macau at the conference. He is very interested in Chinese social media. “WeChat is not Facebook and Weibo is not Twitter,” WeChat is a super app in China and very different from Western social media experiences where each application only does one thing, and their functions are not interactively integrated. WeChat combines the functions of different applications in one.
“Chinese social and technological environments have made a unique development trend of Chinese social media.” Professor Fitzgerald believes that the creativity of Chinese social media has been reflected in the different communication methods of using languages and even dialects and emojis, as well as social media functions through technological innovation. Although social media is constantly changing in many countries and regions, China is a leader in the development of social media technology and is more advanced than the West in many aspects. The development of social media and the Internet in China has adapted to the needs of users and environment in the new media era, which making WeChat more attractive. “Let’s forget about Facebook for a while and get to know them from WeChat and Weibo themselves, rather than understanding Chinese social media by comparing them with western social media.”
Speaking of participating in the “Advanced Forum on Translation and International Communication”, Professor Richard Fitzgerald expressed his heartfelt thanks to the organizer for the invitation. He said that he had not participated in such an interesting meeting for a long time. The short one-and-a-half-day conference covered the two main lines of academic research and industrial practice. The conference established a communication bridge between the academic community and the industry, allowing scholars and industry experts to exchange and discuss with each other, and he learned a lot from it. Professor Fitzgerald said that he looks forward to continuing to strengthen exchanges and cooperation with Translation and International Communication Research Center, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, to discuss the future of the integration of language research and communication research.