Communication Patterns of Individualistic and Collective Cultures: A Value Based Comparison.Reportar como inadecuado

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For Asian Americans, learning only the skills of verbal communication is not sufficient--they need to develop a sense of appreciation for eloquence, to understand the urgency of freedom of expression in a democratic society, and to internalize the value of speech as an instrument for self-enhancement. The remarkable differences between the East Asian cultures of China and Japan and the American culture make acculturation of East Asians into the mainstream of United States society extremely difficult. Characteristics of individualistic cultures include: the individual as an autonomous entity; egalitarianism; competitiveness; and self-reliance. Characteristics of collective cultures include: individuals as interdependent entities; hierarchism; cooperativeness; and self-denial. Looked at positively, the experience of individualism, prominent in the American culture, espouses rights for personal freedom and enhancement, endorses the dignity and entitlement of ordinary persons before God, the law, and with other citizens. The long history of the East Asian cultures testifies to the merits of collectivism. The general attitude of East Asian people is toward language and verbalization involving fewer words, supported by the aesthetics of vagueness. In the western tradition, the importance of eloquence has been persistently emphasized ever since the days of Plato and Aristotle. Teaching and clarification of values as part of the curriculum is important for cultivating appreciation and sense of purpose in all the skills taught in speech communication. (Contains 14 references.) (RS)

Descriptors: Asian Americans, Chinese Culture, Comparative Analysis, Cultural Differences, Cultural Traits, Freedom of Speech, Higher Education, Individualism, Interpersonal Communication, Japanese Culture, North American Culture

Autor: Yang, Hwei-Jen


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