• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

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.

U.S.-Centrism: Cultural Relativity of Communication Constructs and Theories
U.S.-centrism: Cultural relativity of communication constructs and theories

The individualistic model of the self that provides the infrastructure for traditional Western theories and models of communication, as well as for most of the social sciences, may seem an obvious and natural one. However, it is not the only model of how to be a person or the only answer to “What is a person?” Another model of the self that is significantly different from individualism in many of its assumptions, yet very widely held, suggests that persons are not independent entities but are instead fundamentally interdependent with one another (see Markus & Kitayama, 1998). Mainstream communication theories, for the most part, have largely ignored this model by assuming ...

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