Caleb T. Carr’s talk on Politics, Social Media and MassPersonal Communication

TIGCR (Taiwan Institute for Governance and Communication Research) was pleased to have Professor, Caleb T. Carr, Associate Professor of Illinois State University to visit the center and talk with TIGCR members on December 14th. The talk started by Associate Director, Prof. Chia-hung Tsai to introduce TIGCR, and along with the main inviter, also one of the TIGCR members Prof. Jih-Hsuan Lin to summarize Carr’s past publications and research focus. With brief introduction, Carr then moved on to share issues on masspersonal communication.

Associate Director, Prof. Chia-hung Tsai introduced TIGCR.

(Photo credit: TIGCR) 

Prof. Jih-Hsuan Lin introduced Prof. Carr. 

(Photo credit: TIGCR)

Carr’s observation and past study concentrated on the masspersonal communication in various kinds of media. He suggested that mass, personal and mass personal communication can not be divided distinctively. Rather, three kinds of communication way is comparative to each other. The definition Carr endows masspersonal communication is a way that the public as the target audience, with highly personalized information and possibility to interact with media and information source.

In respondance with TIGCR’s research focus, Carr presented how to apply masspersonal communication to politics. He indicated that, for example, it is a typical masspersonal communication behavior for politicians and political parties utilize Facebook fanpages to communicate with the public, meanwhile answer certain voters’ questions. When it occurs to the discussion about echo chambers on social media, Carr mentioned that the formation of echo chamber was not due to social media itself. Instead, it is the process of transferring information which deepen the publics’ impression towards certain issues. Carr further expressed his observation both in reality and on-line communication that, “Echo chambers is a phenomenon that social media strengthens people’s off-line relationships and reflects on-line connections.” For instance, political fanatic on social media are people who are the political information spreaders in real life originally, rather than social media changed their behaviors.

Carr’s talk on MassPersonal Communication.

(Photo credit:TIGCR)

As media environment evolves quickly, Carr suggested it is necessary to apply more comprehensive research methods and communication theory to confirm the observed phenomenon, and to understand the future communication trends. In the talk, Carr had a good time with the TIGCR members, and exchanged research ideas on political communication with each other. Carr also awarded highly recognition to TIGCR’s implementation, planning and outlook of the current tasks, and expected to have more international academic collaboration with TIGCR in the future.

Group photo after the talk.

(Photo credit:TIGCR)