• 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.

The Sources of Dualism: Mechanistic Cartesian Worldview
The sources of dualism: Mechanistic cartesian worldview

Thought has always worked through opposition. Through dual hierarchical oppositions…. Everywhere (where) an ordering intervenes, a law organizes what is thinkable by oppositions (dual, irreconcilable, or sub-latable dialectical).

— Cixous, Sorties, 1997, p. 91

In Part II of this book, I reviewed literature that shows a dramatic divergence in psychological functioning and communicative behavior between independent and interdependent selves. I focused on some of the phenomena that communication theorists have been most concerned with and what they have regarded as universal. In my discussion, I take the approach of cultural psychology. This approach assumes that people's cognitive, emotional, motivational, and behavioral processes are shaped through their engagement in a cultural world. The psyche, ...

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