• 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.

“Who Am I?”: Cultural Variations in Self-Systems
“Who am I?”: Cultural variations in self-systems

The individual is the end of the Universe.

— Miguel De Unamuno, The Tragic Sense of Life, p. 312

The discovery that many findings in social science are culturally specific led researchers to argue that culture should be incorporated as a parameter in social science theories (Smith & Bond, 1998). Explaining differences in communication behavior across cultures requires a search for the relevant independent variables “culture unpackaged,” so to speak (Segall, 1986). At the very heart of the concept of culture is the expectation that different people will possess different values, beliefs, and motives, which are reflected in various behaviors. Travelers to foreign lands detect different behaviors quickly, sensing that they are viewing ...

  • Loading...
locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles