Researching digital communication practices among German-speaking expats in China: Study design [Исследование практики цифровой коммуникации среди немецкоязычных экспатриантов в Китае: концепция исследования]

Авторы

  • Михаэль Журавицки Университет Дуйсбург-Эссен

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.33910/2686-830X-2019-1-1-22-29

Ключевые слова:

WeChat, communication, German-speaking expats, China, study design

Аннотация

The present paper develops the study design of a linguistic analysis of digital communication practices among German-speaking expats in China using WeChat. Within digital communication in China, the messenger application WeChat is the most widely used means of communication, boasting roughly one billion users. There has not been relevant linguistic research on communication making use of this application to date. We especially lack studies addressing the communication practices with WeChat by native speakers of German, who form a relatively large group of expatriates in China (20,000+ Germans alone), mostly working in the automobile industry.

After a short introduction (1.) which addresses the relevant research question to be tackled, the previous research on WeChat is summarized (2.). The attention WeChat has received in the media of the German language area becomes visible, but we can also see that there is no systematic scholarly discourse focusing on the application just yet. This is followed by a section on the communicative features and functionality of WeChat (3.): here it is pointed out that WeChat has multiple functions which go significantly further than messaging applications such as WhatsApp provide their users. These features comprise e.g. online payment, GPS tracking and navigation, money transfers, and monetary gifts. Furthermore, WeChat combines features of WhatsApp, Facebook, and Twitter. A thorough description of these features provides the basis for laying out the study design of the online survey (4.). The online survey comprises more than twenty questions on the use of WeChat with special regard to the expatriate setting in China. The paper ends with a section on the expected results (5.).

Библиографические ссылки

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Опубликован

2019-10-23

Выпуск

Раздел

Лингвистика и междисциплинарные исследования языка и речи