• 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.

Susceptibility to Social Influence: Conformity or Tact?
Susceptibility to social influence: Conformity or tact?

Whoso would be a man, must be a Non-conformist.

— Emerson, “Self-Reliance,” 1841, p. 41

The opinion of one man is not as good as that of a thousand.

— Doolittle, Chinese Vocabulary, ii. 682, 1872 (quoted in Stevenson, p. 1719)

Communication researchers and other social scientists have long been interested in social influence and conformity. Kiesler and Kiesler (1969) defined conformity as a change in belief or behavior in the direction of the common interests of a group as a result of real or imagined pressure from the group. Similarly, Moscovici (1980) argued that when majorities exert social influence, they produce compliance. That is, individuals will publicly accept the majority view while privately retaining ...

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