Department of Applied Communication Studies Welcomes Visiting Scholar

Guosong Shao, PhD, associate dean of the College of Media and Communication at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, is settling in to life at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville this school year. As a visiting scholar in the Department of Applied Communication Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences, Shao is working to build academic partnerships with SIUE faculty members while also observing the academic and cultural differences between the U.S. and China.

“I hope to take this chance to observe what may be the prevalent academic as well as cultural differences between these two countries, especially in the context of the current geopolitical realities between the two nations,” said Shao. “I am especially curious how China and the U.S. can learn from each other instead of trying to replace each other.”

Shao is a leading scholar in new media, media law and political communication in China. He has published more than 50 articles on the topics of internet governance and internet politics, including an article he wrote with SIUE Professor of Health Communication Min Liu, PhD, which was published in the Chinese Journal of Communication. Shao is also the solo author of Internet Law in China, published in 2012.

During the next several months, Shao and Liu will be conducting a comparative and interdisciplinary study on political communication between China and the U.S. Specifically, this research will focus on communication between political elites and citizens; the role traditional media and social media play in the political communication process; and how citizens process traditional and user-generated communication.

“We plan to use a variety of qualitative and quantitative research methods to develop and test theories that help understand the mechanisms of political communication in both China and the U.S.,” explained Shao.

In addition to conducting research, Shao plans to explore opportunities for future collaboration between Shanghai Jiao Tong University and SIUE’s Department of Applied Communication Studies.

“There tends to be much misunderstanding with regard to the political processes and realities in China and the U.S. We often hear abstract discussions on both sides of the Pacific about how the two systems compare, but these discussions mean little without the support of current empirical data,” said Liu. “Dr. Shao and I are both interested in using social scientific methodologies to further our understanding about political communication in the era of new media. I am excited about where our collaboration will lead us. Also, under Dr. Shao’s leadership, his college at SHJU grew exponentially in their international student enrollment. I’d love to explore opportunities for international collaboration, too.”

Shao earned his doctorate in mass communication from the University of Alabama and previously served as an assistant professor of communication at Pittsburgh State University. He will continue his role as visiting scholar at SIUE until August.

Photo: Guosong Shao, PhD, associate dean of the College of Media and Communication at Shanghai Jiao Tong University

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