What it means to be a self — and a self communicating and being in a particular culture — are key issues interwoven throughout Min-Sun Kim’s impressive text, Non-Western Perspectives on Human Communication. Going beyond cultural descriptions or instructions on adapting to specific cultures, the author interrogates the very core assumptions underlying the study of human communication and challenges longstanding individualistic, Western models on which much intercultural research is based. Kim proposes a non-western way of conceptualizing identity, or the “self” — the cornerstone of cultural research — illuminating how traditional western and non-western views can be blended into a broader, more realistic understanding of cultures and communication. Grounding her work in a thorough knowledge of the literature, she challenges students and researchers alike to reexamine their approach to intercultural study.
Part I: Introduction
- Chapter 1: “Who Am I?” Cultural Variations in Self-Systems
- Evolution of Western Self-Construction: “America's Civil Religion”
- Interdependent Self-Construals: An Alternative Framework
- Chapter 2: Independent and Interdependent Models of the Self as Cultural Frame
- Independent Self-Construal: Individualistic Aspects of Self
- Interdependent Self-Construal: Group-Derived Identity
- Chapter 3: Why Self-Construals Are Useful
- Parsimony of Explanation: Impact of Culture
- Cultural Relativity of Communication Constructs
Part II: U.S.-Centrism: Cultural Relativity of Communication Constructs and Theories
- Chapter 4: Communication Apprehension: Deficiency or Politeness?
- Motivation to Avoid Verbal Communication
- Traditional View: Communication Avoidance as a Deficiency
- Communication Avoidance Stemming from a Sensitivity to Social Contexts
- Chapter 5: Motivation to Approach Verbal Communication: Is Communication Approach Always Healthy?
- Assertiveness: Standing up for Your Own Rights
- Argumentativeness: A Subset of Assertiveness
- Critique and Summary
- Chapter 6: Conflict Management Styles: Is Avoidance Really a Lose-Lose?
- Prior Conflict Management Typologies
- Individualistic Bias in past Conceptualizations of Conflict Styles
- Chapter 7: Cognitive Consistency: A Cultural Assumption?
- Fundamental Assumptions of Cognitive Dissonance Theory
- Is Cognitive Dissonance a Culture-Bound Concept?
- Chapter 8: Attitude-Behavior Consistency: Cultural Ideal of Individualistic Society?
- Predicting Behaviors: De-Emphasizing Situations over Attitudes
- Emphasizing Other Sources of Behavior
- Chapter 9: Susceptibility to Social Influence: Conformity or Tact?
- An Eco-Cultural Explanation of Conformity
- Conformity as Social Sensitivity and Independence as Insensitivity
- Chapter 10: Internal Control Ideology and Interpersonal Communication
- Internal Control Ideology
- Relationship between Locus of Control and Communication Ideology
- Chapter 11: Deceptive Communication: Moral Choice or Social Necessity?
- Deception as a Moral Issue: Independent Perspective
- Deception as a Social Necessity: Interdependent Perspective
- Chapter 12: Self-Disclosure: Bragging vs. Negative Self-Disclosure
- Motivational Influences on Styles of Self-Disclosure
- Gender and the Preferred Forms of Self-Presentation
- Chapter 13: Silence: Is it Really Golden?
- Silence as Malfunctioning of (Human) Machines
- Silence as Neglected Component of Human Communication
- Chapter 14: Models of Acculturative Communication Competence: Who Bears the Burden of Adaptation?
- Assimilation Model: “Marginal Man [sic]” Perspective
- Alternation Model: Bicultural Person Perspective
- Host Communication Competence: One-Way Assimilation
- Bicultural Communication Competence: A Fluid Cultural Alternation
Part III: Toward a Bidimensional Model of Cultural Identity
- Chapter 15: The Sources of Dualism: Mechanistic Cartesian Worldview
- Bias toward Yang Communication Behaviors
- Particle/Wave Paradox: Some Preliminary Implications of Personhood for Human Communication
- Chapter 16: Dimensionality of Cultural Identity
- Unidimensional Model of Self-Construals
- Bidimensional Model of Cultural Identity
- Support for the Bidimensional Model
- Formation of Bicultural Identity
Part IV: Conclusion