Communicating Across Cultures With People From India

Indian-style communication derives in large part from three elements in Indian society: the caste system, the concept of face, and the Indian extended-family system. Many of the most salient norms of communication in India can be traced back to one or more of these three factors.

This entry begins with an explanation of the above three factors and how they influence Indian communication. Next, the intricacies of communicating with people from India are explained, particularly highlighting the cultural norms of attending to status when interacting with others. The subtleties of indirect communication include many varieties of saying “No” while never uttering the word. These alternatives are described and compared with communication in more direct cultures. This discussion is based on generalizations of cultural patterns and acknowledges ...

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