July  2023 65
研究論文Research Articles
The Contemporary Documentary Politics of Mainland China and Taiwan: Based on Grierson’s “Mirror/Hammer” Theory
作者 王達
Author Da WANG
關鍵詞 紀錄片、格里爾遜、功能論、文化政治、傳播政治經濟學
Keywords documentary, Grierson, Function Theory, political economy of communication
摘要 自格里爾遜(John Grierson)提出紀錄片是「對現實素材的創造性處理」以來(Barsam, 1992, p. 89),關於紀錄片功能的討論常以「鏡子/錘子」為中心。相關理論研究與當代傳媒現象發展之間存在不匹配。本文採取癥候式閱讀法(symptomatic reading)對兩岸近年來發表的紀錄片 政治相關文獻進行「第二種閱讀」。研究發現,格里爾遜紀錄片理論中 的「平民主義」(populism)在技術的驅動下更加突顯。紀錄片不僅可以實現更廣泛、更有力道的賦權,從而推動民主表達,也重構了「精英/平民」的二元關係,實現多元主體間的「相互賦權」。然而,在彰顯紀錄片主體性的同時,技術的政治性潛能遭遇了新一輪政治經濟權力的重構、收編與馴化。紀錄片的「技術平民主義」(techno-populism)面臨「權力貧民主義」(power pauperism)的危機。針對複雜的紀錄片實踐,本文提出基於歷時性與共時性的多元主體分析框架和當代「錘子論」,嘗試更新關於紀錄片政治的認知。這一分析框架打破了傳統「功能論」的單一主體思維,揭示出文化政治與傳播政治經濟學視角下更為動態的紀錄片政治運作機制。
Abstract Since John Grierson proposed that documentary film is a “creative treatment of actuality,” discussions on the function of documentary films have often been based on the “Hammer and the Mirror” theory. However, there is a gap between this theory and contemporary development. This study adopted a symptomatic reading approach to conducting a “second reading” of recent literature on the politics of documentary films published on both sides of the Taiwan Strait. The findings showed that the “populism” component of Grierson’s documentary theory has become more pronounced as technology advances. Not only has documentary film enabled an increase in public empowerment, thereby promoting democratic expression, but it has also reconstructed the “elite/populist” dichotomy and realized the “mutual empowerment” of multiple subjects. Moreover, the political potential of technology has encountered a new round of restructuring, incorporating, and domesticating political and economic power. As a result, the “techno-populism” of documentary films has faced a crisis of “power pauperism.” To address the complex practice of documentary filmmaking, this study proposed a multisubject analytical framework based on diachrony, synchronicity, and the contemporary “Hammer Theory” to update the knowledge and understanding of the politics of contemporary documentary films. This analytical framework departs from the traditional “functionalist” view of a single subject and reveals a dynamic mechanism of documentary politics from the perspective of cultural politics and the political economy of communication.


Citation of this article:
Wang, D. (2023). The contemporary documentary politics of Mainland China and Taiwan: Based on Grierson’s “mirror/hammer” theory. Communication and Society, 65, 155–190.
No.67  2024 January
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