• 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.

Deceptive Communication: Moral Choice or Social Necessity?
Deceptive communication: Moral choice or social necessity?

One should speak the truth; one should speak what is pleasant; and one should not speak the truth if it happens to be unpleasant.

— Ancient Sanskrit saying

This above all: to thine own self be true And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man

— Shakespeare, Hamlet, a Tragedy (I, iii, 78-80), 1600/1818)

Adefendant perjures herself in court; a student cheats on a final exam; a well-wisher offers an insincere compliment. Although the moralist would condemn the actions of each, there can be little doubt that deceptive communication pervades daily discourse and spans the spectrum from consequential to trivial and from blatant to inadvertent ...

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