• 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.

Into the Future: Implications for Future Inquiry
Into the future: Implications for future inquiry

An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come.

— Victor Hugo, Histoire d'un Crime
Ideology and beyond

At the outset of this book, I noted the close connection between the normative assumptions of a culture and the construction of communication theories. But by suspending a particular set of normative assumptions, scientists may be moved to search anew, to expand the range of potential truths, to reanalyze and resynthesize, and to emerge with conclusions that may challenge the normative system and thus render it more adaptive (Gergen, 1979). By understanding the forces shaping contemporary scientific thought, we become better able to evaluate our present condition and to judge its ...

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