• 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.

Why Self-Construals Are Useful
Why self-construals are useful

Science is a great game. It is inspiring and refreshing. The playing field is the universe itself.

— Isidor I. Rabi, New York Times, 28 Oct. 1964, p. 38

In the last chapter, I examined the interface between culture and self. I dealt with how the concept of self varies with culture. This chapter examines some of the advantages in an individual-level approach to the study of cross-cultural communication behavior. The notion of self-construals is of great interest to a wide range of researchers. Increasing numbers of intercultural-communication researchers are recognizing the importance of conceptualizing culture along meaningful dimensions of sociopsychological variability and developing ways to measure these dimensions on the individual level. Theoretical analyses rooted in the distinction between ...

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