October  2022 62
研究論文Research Articles
The Interface Between Life and Death: Digital Communication with the Deceased
作者 姜紅、胡安琪、方俠旋
Author Hong JIANG, Anqi HU, Xiaxuan FANG
關鍵詞 哀悼、社交媒體、數字「交往」、持續聯結、關係不朽
Keywords mourning, social media, digital communication, continuing bonds, relationship immortality
摘要 當逝者的社交媒體「互動」沒有伴隨其離世而消亡,如何理解這種跨越生死的傳播?研究選取李文亮微博為個案,以社會心理範疇的「持續聯結理論」(continuing bonds theory)為視角,採用計算傳播研究中的結構主題模型和語義網絡分析等方法展開分析,試圖描摹並理解中國文化語境下與逝者的數字「交往」實踐。研究發現李文亮最後一條微博評論可以分為悲傷紀念主題群和持續聯結主題群,其中持續聯結主題群佔比更高(約77.58%);人們直接與李文亮的數字化身展開主體間性的日常交往;數字媒介統合了中國傳統文化觀念對生後世界的多元想像,成為模糊又確定的聯結界面。媒介技術和文化觀念共同影響著個案中的持續聯結,與逝者進行數字「交往」的動因與延續生命有關。文章進一步引入「第三持存」(tertiary rétentions)概念討論數字媒介時代的「不朽」:不是個體靈魂或數據的永生,而是基於數字媒介交往的關係不朽。
Abstract Some people continue to leave messages on the deceased's social media, how should we understand this kind of communication? Based on the perspective of the continuing bonds theory in social psychology and previous case studies of “the last Weibo of the deceased Li Wenliang”, this study used structural topic models and a semantic network analysis in computational communication studies to evaluate, describe and understand digital communication practices with the deceased in the Chinese cultural context. The findings showed that comments on Li Wenliang’s last Weibo post could be divided into two topic groups. Most comments were classified in a continuing bonds topic group, accounting for the larger proportion (about77.58%). People directly engaged in daily intersubjective communications with Li Wenliang’s digital avatar. Digital media integrate the various imaginaries of traditional Chinese cultural concepts of the afterlife, becoming a fuzzy and definite interface. In this case, continuing bonds are shaped by media technology and culture. The greatest motivation for digital continuing bonds was related to continuing life. This study introduced the concept of tertiary rétentions to discuss immortality in the era of digital media, not the immortality of individual souls or data but the immortality of relationships based on digital interactions.


Citation of this article:
Jiang, H., Hu A., & Fang, X. (2022). The interface between life and death: Digital communication with the deceased. Communication and Society, 62, 69–103.
No.63  2023 January
No.62  2022 October
No.61  2022 July
No.60  2022 April
No.59  2022 January
© 2017 Communication & Society Journal. All Rights Reserved.