A paper on the use of social media for Buddhist rituals for Bhutanese families, co-authored by Associate Professor Todd Sandel in the Department of Communication, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Macau (UM), and his PhD student Dorji Wangchuk, will be published in the November 2020 issue of Language & Communication, one of the top journals in the fields of communication and linguistics. The paper is one of the few studies in the world on communication and social media in Bhutan.

Titled ‘Thank You for Your Blessing: Constructed Mobile Chronotopes in a Buddhist Online Community in Bhutan’, the paper examines how members of an extended family in Bhutan use the social media application, WeChat, to negotiate problems of time, space, co-presence, and participation. The study uses the concept of the ‘mobile chronotope’ to analyse how members use the modalities of WeChat’s functions of voice and image, to communicate their participation in a Buddhist ceremony. Through their mobile phones, family members are able to create the sense that they are linked in a sacred time and space, that they are members of an extended family, and that they observe the proper respect to be given to the Lama of the temple and other elder members. In addition, the study demonstrates that the application provides more opportunities for female family members to participate in religious activities online.

Language & Communication, published by Elsevier, features interdisciplinary studies of language and communication. Contributions come from scholars across a wide range of fields, including applied linguistics, cultural studies, discourse analysis, linguistic anthropology, pragmatics, psychology, and semiotics.

澳門大學社會科學學院傳播系教授申大德(Todd L. Sandel)及其博士生Dorji Wangchuk對不丹家族利用社交媒體參與佛教儀式的研究成果獲國際權威期刊《語言與傳播》刊登。該論文是國際上為數不多的關於不丹傳媒的研究。


申大德和Dorji Wangchuk以“移動時空”的概念分析了不丹的家族成員如何借助微信的語音和圖像功能來參與佛教儀式。此研究亦發現有關家族成員可以通過手機在線建立一種感知,即在神聖的時空中,作為家族成員可以與其他成員彼此相連且應始終遵守對喇嘛和其他家族長輩的尊重。研究還指出,與過去線下面對面的傳播方式相比,微信還為家族中的女性成員提供了更多的宗教參與機會。