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'Be a teacher after death': The message strategies of the body donation campaign in Taiwan
Unformatted Document Text:  7 without incurring unbearable “pain” on its meta-conscious being. However, Tzu-Chi’s newly adopted techniques (i.e., injection of chemical solution into the body) in preserving the body need to be carried out within the first critical eight hours after one’s declared death. Lastly, the resistance to body donation may come from one’s family— the basic institutional unit. Besides family members’ love for the deceased, the mores superstition that benefits of Feng Sui for the descendents is only possible with a whole body burial may also induce strong opposition from family members of the donor. In addition to the possible resistant forces based on the deep-rooted Chinese traditional values cited, the nature of the issue also posed great challenges on the campaign organizers. Body donation, as an innovative idea in the Taiwanese society, is closely related to a taboo topic— death, and it is definitely not easy to persuade people to adopt a practice so closely associated with such a taboo. According to the diffusion of innovation theory, five characteristics of an innovation usually determine its rate of adoption (Rogers, 1995). These five characteristics are as follows: (1) Relative advantage— the degree to an innovation is perceived as better than the idea it supersedes; (2) Compatibility— the degree to which an innovation is perceived as being consistent with the existing values, past experiences, and needs of the receiver;

Authors: Chang, Hao-Chieh. and Leung, Kenneth W. Y..
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7
without incurring unbearable “pain” on its meta-conscious being. However, Tzu-Chi’s
newly adopted techniques (i.e., injection of chemical solution into the body) in
preserving the body need to be carried out within the first critical eight hours after
one’s declared death. Lastly, the resistance to body donation may come from one’s
family— the basic institutional unit. Besides family members’ love for the deceased,
the mores superstition that benefits of Feng Sui for the descendents is only possible
with a whole body burial may also induce strong opposition from family members of
the donor.
In addition to the possible resistant forces based on the deep-rooted Chinese
traditional values cited, the nature of the issue also posed great challenges on the
campaign organizers. Body donation, as an innovative idea in the Taiwanese society,
is closely related to a taboo topic— death, and it is definitely not easy to persuade
people to adopt a practice so closely associated with such a taboo. According to the
diffusion of innovation theory, five characteristics of an innovation usually determine
its rate of adoption (Rogers, 1995). These five characteristics are as follows:
(1) Relative advantage— the degree to an innovation is perceived as better than the
idea it supersedes;
(2) Compatibility— the degree to which an innovation is perceived as being
consistent with the existing values, past experiences, and needs of the receiver;


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