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Sunday, 26 January 2020

Intercultural Communication

Philosophy of ICC:

Over seven billion people share the world's limited resources to improve our living. The world has grown so small that now we must all depend on each other—no matter we desire it or not.

intercultural communication
Intercultural communication
Many obstacles to understanding can be minimized through motivation, knowledge and appreciation of culture diversity.
It's said that the first commandment of any civilized society must "allow people to be different as long as those dissimilarities don't create hardships for others".
We do study on ICC because we share the planet with over seven billion people who belongs to thousands of different cultural groups and speaks as many languages.
We currently live in an age when almost every person, irrespective of his/her location, language, or culture, is or can be interconnected with everyone else.
Certain trends that have given prominence to ICC include globalization, international conflict and security, global competition for acquiring or controlling natural resources, global warming and other environmental challenges, world healthcare issues and population shift (immigration, aging population, rise of multicultural  society), as well as technological impact of globalized outlook of every signal individual. These issues have direct relations or impact in intercultural social dynamics.
 ICC is the management of messages for the purpose of creating meaning across cultures. Culture, according to Philipsen, is defined as, "A socially constructed and historically transmitted pattern of symbols, meanings, apprentices [i.e. skills, rule of games] and rules." In another world culture is a code, cited in Griffin, 3rd edition p. 404.
"ICC involves interaction between people whose cultural perceptions and symbol systems are distinct enough to alter the communication events", Samovar et al. 2007.
Culture is a set of human-made subjective and objective elements that in the past have increased the probability of survival and resulted in satisfaction for the participants in an ecological niche, and thus became shared among those who could communicate with each other because they had a common language and they live in the same time and place. (Triandis, H.C., Culture and Social Behavior, 1994, p. 23)

Culture and behaviour:

Culture--- a collective form of customs, traditions, attitudes, values, norms, ideas and symbols—helps shape the behavioural pattern of any individual.
 Culture is the sum total of integrated learned behaviour patterns which are characteristics of the members of a society, and which are therefore not the result of biological inheritance. (EA Hoebel)
Behaviour shapes the culture, but culture primarily shapes human behaviour. That's why behaviour is basically a produce to culture. For example, if you are an American, it's normal for you to have food or drink coffee while facing even a job interview. Respect to elderly, funeral process, faith in life after death etc are some of cultural influences on individuals.

"Behaviour is much like speech. Whereas culture is more like grammer," (John Beatty et al. Intercultural Communication, 2003, p.17)

Behaviour might be of entire community or groups as well as of an individual's. But, if behaviour is distinct of an individual's only, it can't be referred as a culture. In nutshell, culture is shared/learned behaviour and as well as "rules for behaviour". As a rule of behaviour, some culture is strict or rigid, where some are more flexible. For instance, in Ramadan Islamic faith followers read Namaz five times a day and have food only under dark sun.
The deeply ingrained cultural patters laid down in childhood clearly set up the framework by which adults will life the rest of their lives. Of course, experiences—especially with other cultures—will affect them, but even they will be interpreted and evaluated by and large in terms of their original cultural patterns. (Beatty et al. 2003 p. 24)

Basic functions of culture
Since is culture is a systematic patters of human behaviours, the core essence of the culture is to make life easier for people by teaching them how to adapt to their ambience and context.

Cultures exist to serve the vital, practical requirements of human life—to structure a society so as to perpetuate the species, to pass on the hard-learned knowledge and experience of generations past and centuries past to the young and inexperienced in order to spare the next generation the costly and dangerous process of learning everything all over again from scratch through trial and error—including fatal errors.

--T. Sowell (Cultural Diversity: A World View, 2009 p. 430)

Scholars don't agree on what exactly the functions of culture are. But their some views are common to one another's.
Saritha Pujari states that there are four basic functions of the culture, these include:
            Culture defines situations
            Culture defines attitudes, values and goals,
            Culture defines myths, legends, and supernaturals
            Culture provides behaviour patterns
Ajaya Bhatta, however, presents in different way on how culture functions. According to him, culture has been fulfilling a number of functions which may be divided into two parts: for individuals, and for the group.
For individuals, culture distinguishes human form animals. In another word, culture makes human animals a man. It regulates human conduct and prepares them for a group or social life. Likewise, culture provides solution for complicated situations and gives traditional interpretation to certain situations. In fact culture shapes human personality.
For the group, culture keeps social relationships intact and gives new vision to cooperation among people. It provides concepts of family, state and nation's values and makes possible the coordination and division of labour. Likewise, culture creates new needs like thrust for knowledge, moral or religious interests etc.
For Samovar et al., culture makes life easier for people by teaching them how to adapt to their surroundings and also enables people to make sense of their ambiance. It guides human behaviour to the predictable paths and shields people form unknown by offering them a blue print for all of life's activities.

Elements of culture

There are certain things that can be described as elements of culture. These are history (of certain nation, state or culture itself), religion or faith, social organizations and languages, perceptions and beliefs, language, symbols, arts and literatures, customs and traditions, values and language. Some scholars have even incorporated governance and economic systems as distinct types of cultural elements as these factors largely influence and help shape people's life and behaviour.
The heart of culture involves language, religion, values, traditions and customs, says Huntington.
History is a diagram that offers direction about how to live in present. The "lessons" of the Holocaust, the French Revolution, the American freedom struggle, history of colonialism and struggle for independence in India all have immensely contributing in shaping respective culture, behaviour, belief and perception etc. Likewise, the religion element consciously or unconsciously impacts everything from business practices to politics to individual behavour. In the same vein, symbols are often presented in a culture in a specific way that is seen as neutral. Changing the way of presentation (called markedness) often causes the symbols to take on a new meaning. (Beatty et al. 2003 p. 48).

Characteristic of culture

Every culture has distinct features. But there are certain features that are common irrespective of cultures. In another word, there are a series of basic features that all human cultures share.  Samovar, Porter and McDaniel in their book Communication between Culture states following as features of culture:
o   Culture is learned—learned from other's behaviours and culture, history, religion etc.  It can be learned through proverbs, folklores, legends and myths. It may also be learned through art, symbols and ICT and mass media.
o   Culture is shared: if it's not shared within a certain social group, community or nation, it will only be an individual behaviour without reflecting any cultural pattern. Culture shares a common set of perception, belief, behaviour etc.
o   Culture is transmitted from generation to generation, and language and symbol is a carrier of culture.
o   Culture is based on symbol, which can be take a variety of forms, including gestures, postures, attire, objects, flags, religious icons and so on and so forth.
o   Culture is dynamic, some cultures are flexible and some are strict and rigid. However, it's not static, but dynamic and changing; no matter how long it takes time to change within.
o   Finally, culture is an integrated system.

Besides, culture is abstract, idealistic, and pervasive. It's also a rule.


Individualism and Collectivism

The notions of individualism and collectivism are highly important in finding cultural patterns and differences. They play critical roles in child rearing practices to interaction that takes place within a family or in decision making process.
Collectivism is defined as the theory and practice that makes some sort of group rather than the individual the fundamental unit of political, social, and economic concern. In theory collectivism insists that the claims of groups, associations or the state must normally supersede the claims of individual.
In the view of feminist writer Ayn Rand, collectivism requires self sacrifice, the subordination of one's interests to those of others. George Winder dubbed it as a primitive form of communism s roots in premi as a says that it's a conce
Though these tendencies carries different value systems and views and looks like binary opposite to each another, Triandis says: "Most cultures include a mixture of individualistic and collective elements" (Cited in Samovar et al, 2007, p. 67).
Schmidt et al notes "The individual-collective dimension assesses a culture's tendency to encourage people to be unique or independent or conforming and interdependent."
(W.V. Shhmidt et al. Communicating Globally: Intercultural Communication and Intercultural Business, 2004, p. 31)
Collectivistic cultures emphasize community, collaboration, shared interest, harmony, and tradition, the public good and maintaining face. Individualistic culture emphasizes personal rights and responsibilities, privacy, voicing one's own opinion, freedom, innovation and self expression. (P. A. Andersen et al. Non-Verbal Communications Across Cultures, 2003, p. 77: cited in Samovar at al, p. 198)
 Look how an Indian proverb states for collective view on family values. "An individual could no more be separated from the family than a finger from the hand."
Nuthaniel Branden divides individualism as two approaches: an ethical-psychological concept and an ethical-political one. According to him, as ethical-psychological concept, individualism holds that a human being should think and judge independently, respecting nothing more than the sovereignty of his or her mind, thus, it is intimately connected with the concept of autonomy. As an ethical-political concept, individualism upholds the supremacy of individual rights.
In individualism tendency, personal rights are not subject to public vote, a majority has no rights to vote away the rights of a minority, the practical function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from the oppression by majorities.
The provision of US Constitution, the right to life, the right to liberty and the right to pursue one's happiness is unabashedly individualistic.
Traits of collectivism:
Each person is encouraged to be an active player in society to do what is best for society as a whole rather than themselves.
Rights of families, communities and collective supersede those of the individual.
Rules promote unity, brotherhood and selflessness
Working with others and cooperating is the norm, every one supports each other as a community, family and nation more than as an individual.

Traits of Individualism:
·         Promotes 'I' identity, individual goals, interests, initiations, achievements,
·         Individual rights are considered as the most important
·         Self importance, independence is valued like--- independence of children, gendre, personal freedom are highlighted,
·         Relaying or being dependent on others is frequently seen as shameful act
·         People are encouraged to do things on their own, to rely on themselves

Generally, Asian cultures, including Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Indian, Nepali etc is considered as having collectivistic tendency, while western cultures, including American, British, German, are taken as individual one. However, within a same culture, group and even in an individual, we may find both tendencies, simultaneously.

Theory of Social Approval:

Social approval is a psychological com cultural concept that means social acceptance of some behaviours, conducts, rule following etc. Society gives to an individual—no matter a natural or artificial individual—certain status, dignity, stature based on his/her deeds. Such acceptance is critical to both personal self (intra-personally) as well as inter-personally. Intra-personally, it's important for people's self-esteem to with social acceptance, and inter-personally, the conduct of the person in question is important in understanding group dynamics, intra-group relations and the idea of popularity and reputation.
Within a certain group or subgroup, we follows certain conduct, behaviour, culture, patters of life styles just because to be socially accepted or acknowledged. Social rejection can't endure by an individual since humans are a social being and need to be fit in a society. Therefore, most people act like others just to be fin in the group or society. Social approval is also an ability to tolerate differences and diversity in other people or groups of people.
People don't do always right things or socially accepted acts. We do mistakes, misunderstand things, commit wrongs but it would be easy if we get social approval—in the form of amnesty, pardon etc. Social approval is critical to get cured a mentally retarded person.
Nevertheless, social approval theory doesn't deny change in a society or in people's conducts. Change is possible and a regular feature but it should not at the par of creating tension and raze.
Social approval constitutes a theory whereby an individual's courage and conviction, more than compulsion, fuels a person in constructing the course and career in life apart from bonding with family and friends, with fair utmost in mind and deed. Approval of society is based on long held beliefs, widely appreciated and practiced. It has a force for tracking one's own trail. Social approval and inherent duties dictate an individual's activity. Social approbation was based on what the wise and the scholarly said and did. Members of society monitored and measured the moves and meanings of individual messages. (Kharel, P. 2015, p. 53).
Social approval denotes discourses and conclusions based on knowledgeable opions and investigations followed by wide-scale acceptance. ….. Curiosity, investigation and application constitute three major factors contributing to acquiring knowledge. Sharing with others the learning thus acquired and putting it into good use bear markings of social approval. The social approval rate measured in terms of qualities such as sattva (purity), rajas (passion, excitement, impulse) and tamas (darkness). These three qualities influence the mental frame and intellectual timbre in a person (ibdl).
Positive appraisal and acceptance by a social group includes compliments, praise, pardon, amnesty etc. Social approval is based on societal rules, norms, values, truth, philosophy, doctrine etc.

Theory of Rasa

This is an oriental concept of making drama more appealing and convincing, by invoking audiences' emotions through performances. It's based on Bharat Muni's Natyasastra, also claimed as the world's first encyclopedia on drama.
The theory of emotions suggests that the meaning of a drama is in the appeal and appeal is to attract attention of audiences. It states without appeal audiences are distracted from drama.
According to Bharat Muni, performers should express emotions so as to appeal audience. He in Natyasastra has mentioned nine different types of emotions that performers should express while performing drama.
P. Kharel (2015), in his book "The Wheel of Communication: Himawatkhanda and Neighbourhood" states that Bharat Muni's theory of emotions deals with something common in human beings. Emotions breathe in an individual every time of the waking hours. The degree of emotions varies in people, depending upon the state of mind dna practical life they may be in. Experiences vary so do the speed, frequency and intensity of emotions in individuals. As an emotive content, rasa can be described as a pleasure or rapture when treated to a drama or other works of art and literature.
According to Bharat Muni, there are different rasas that performers must reveal while performing arts i.e. drama. These include Sringaram (which means love, attraction) Hasyam, Raudram, Karunam, Bibhatsam, Bhayankaram, Viram, Adbhootam. These rasas express love, laughter, fury, tragedy, disgust, horror, heroic mood and wonder and are represented by deities like Vishnu, Ganesh, Raudra, Yam, Shiva. Kala, Indra and Brahma—respectively.
Besides, other three rasas are also commonly attributed to be required in performing drama. These consist Shantam, Vatsalya and Bhakta which mean peace and tranquility; parental love and spiritual devotion, respectively.
Besides, Natyasastra also touched upon various aspects of stage--- content, settings, costumes, ornaments, instruments, decorations, dance, music, body movements, gestures, postures, symbols, improvisation, audience types, performance, styles and so forth and so on to play with emotions of audience and make a drama more appealing.

Theory of Equality

The term has political, social, cultural and legal meanings. It also implies equality as well as equity, which states positive discrimination or biasness to certain disadvantaged or socially excluded groups, sects etc. It states equality in political rights, social rights, cultural rights, (for example, ensuring access in temples for so-called Dalits) and legal rights.
But, inequality can be natural. Like men are unequal to their women counterparts in respect of giving birth to child. In similar vein, there are certain naturally created inequalities, which are not considered as negative. But there shouldn't be artificial discrimination in terms of birth, origin, orientation, gender, caste, sects etc.
Nevertheless, there are huge gorge in principle and practices all over the world. In USA, voting rights were not given to women even until WW II, while in UK, known as mother of democracy, a man used to cast seven votes, if a woman is allowed to cast a single vote even after WW I (Dahl, Robert, On Democracy).
We can find positive attitude towards women in ancient Hindu doctrines and treatises, albeit so are not absolute seen in practices.

Manusmrti states, "If women are unhappy, those who cause her unhappiness will be destroy along with their clan and if women are happy, their house and their clan, both would prosper. Those who want to be happy should keep women happy." Cited in Kharel, P, 2015, p, 124).

Besides, Marx also voiced for a class-less society where all people are considered as equal."Lets all proletariats shall unit" is his famous slogan for social mobilization and set up a classless communist society. As a sarcasm,  Geroge Orwell, however, quips on communism: "All pigs are equal but some pigs are more equal than others." It means, even in so idealistic communism regime, inequality—human created one—are prevalent, let alone the capitalist society, which don't deny having a class-based society. In his book, Discourse of Inequality, French philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778), has painted a grim picture of inequality among ruling elites and commoners in France.
Different values and cultures have different views on equality. Caste system is a height of inequality. In Buddhist treaties, women are given equal status in a family while in Islam value system, they are just considered as an object of men or part of men and their freedom lies up on the will of men.
In conclusion, this theory is a discourse for equal treatment for all humans, irrespective of their backgrounds. It also sheds light on discourses in different times, cultures and civilizations for equality. (You can add up Nepali and global campaigns and movements for equality).

Gurukul System

It's collective approach of learning in ancient times. Unlike modern universities where knowledge is provided with certain degree within certain timeframe; a perpetual learning used to be given in Gurukul system under the Guru's academy.
Collective learning in the Gurukul system is significant for bondings between the preceptor and the pupils themselves. Collective learning under this system enables the pupils to help each other, cross-check and make corrections for improvement. Sense of duty, discipline and team work are the values emphasized in the learning process. (Kharel, P. 2015, P.105).
Plato's Academy used to be known as one of the pioneers of Gurukul system in ancient Greece. Likewise, Nalanda of India, Taksila, (which is in modern day Pakistan) were famous Gurukul in Indus valley civilization.
Aristotle spent over 45 years in Plato's Academy and acquired knowledge of almost all genres, including astronomy to communications, politics to mathematics.
In oriental Gurukul systems, pupils used to recite verses, keeping them intact, without any modification and change in interpretation. The collective recitation process used to enable the pupils to help each other, cross-check and make corrections if so is deemed necessary. Kharel, in his book, states that sense of duty, discipline and team work are the values emphasized in the learning process.
The Gurukul system can be taken as an ancient university. But unlike contemporary universities, the mode of communications or teachings used to be based on oral traditions, rather than written one. We can still co-relate the technique of modern teaching method such as presenting papers in front of all classmates and get inputs from relevant panelists and the floors—with the values laden in Gurukul system learning process.
Gurukul system is still prevalent in some parts, which was earlier widely known as Himawatkhand. Some scholars view the Gurukul system functioned like an alternative state. All Socrates, Plato, Tao, Confucius, Buddha all were Gurus and had set up well established Gurukul System.
In conclusion, the features of this system include perpetual learning, good bondings between pupils and preceptors, high obedience, collective learning and improvements, oral traditions of teachings, and disrespect of guru or guest is deemed as great guilt.

Non Verbal Communication

Human body as symbol

Symbols stand or represent for something. Unlike indices, symbols have an arbitrary relationship between themselves and the things they represent. Indices represent things with which they have a natural or intimate connection. Like the foot print of a dog is an index of the dog. But in symbol, the word dog stands for the animal, but the relationship is arbitrary. Beside English language, the word dog doesn't represent that particular animal. It means each culture and (and often subculture) determines what symbol stands for what.
In non-verbal communication, human body is the principle medium of communication. The body as a whole; in part or in combination of various parts is used as the code or symbols to convey the messages.
The most profound, the most universal of all symbols is the human body. The Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, and Hindus all considered man's triune   nature to be an indispensable part of ethical and religious framing. Every genre of human life has depicted the human body as symbol, mostly in arts, literature, paintings, religion etc.
Each culture conceptualizes the body in different ways. The body is divided up differently in different cultures and the body parts are thought of differently. Conceptually, the head is often symbolized. From Oceania through insular Southeast Asia, the head has special status.  Things should not be passed over it, or it shouldn't be touched. In various parts of the world, different body parts are involved in greetings (Beatty, John et al. 2003 p. 71). Likewise, foot in South Asia and Hindu culture is considered as nadir status.
By physically altering body parts or adoring it in some way can also be communicated with messages. "Humans often use objects as an extension of their own bodies for communicative purpose. Body painting, body alteration, clothing and other bodily adornment are all full of symbolic messages communicative intent (Beatty, John et al. 2003, p. 72).
The intrinsic qualities of human body like size, mass, color, distribution, type and color of hair, arrangement of facial features, color of eyes etc all represents certain symbols with certain meanings.
A joke:
Girl: Why all men are same?
Boy: Because we don't make up.
It's an allusion as how arrangement of facial features or altercation in body parts changes public perception and gives distinct identities.
In addition, human body as a whole symbolizes differently in different cultural context. I read somewhere that the pagoda-style temples (like most Hindu shrines in Nepal) symbolize goddesses (females). An iconic Coca-Cola bottle is a symbol of sitting lady with typical physical fitness (but these days, jumbo cokes are also available!).
Besides, Sri Chakra, a celebrated Yantra used in the worship of the primordial energy, is conceived as a symbol of the human body. In the same vein, there are astrological correspondences to the human body, as per which different celestial object governs different body parts.

Elements/Categories/Types of NVC

1.      Paralanguages (vocal cues or vocalics): Vocal qualities and extra symbolic codes, voice pitch, volume, speaking style as well as prosodic features such as rhythm, rhyme, intonation and stress do also communicate strongly and gives different messages.
2.      Proxemics (space): Territoriality markers, spatial arrangements, touch (haptics), and personal space gives meanings and messages. Different culture and sub-culture has distinct value of space. In terms of distance or space, there are at least four categories: intimate (touching to 12 inch), personal (12 inch to 4 feet), social (4-12 feet) and public distance (12 plus feet).
3.      Appearances and body types, clothing, artifacts (objects), environments (colors, architectures, temperatures etc.)
4.      Kinesics (body languages): movements of body, including gestures and postures, facial expression, eye movements. Postures used to refer to the way a person sits or stands (21 postures of yoga alone). But gesture is movements of hands and other body parts to convey a meaning or message (like V salute etc)
5.      Haptics (touch)
6.      Chronemics (value for time)
Besides, clothing attaire, color skin, accents, physical appearances etc also communicates a lot without words.
It's said that we do communicate over 55 percent through body languages (kinesics), 33 percent through tone of voices (vocal cues or vocalic or paralanguages) and rest 13 percent through words.

Why do we communicate non-verbally?

·         Because of word limitations,
·         NVC is likely to be more genuine
·         NVC can express feelings inappropriate to state
·         NVC is useful to help understand complex messages
Functions of NVC
·         Identification, gives identity like age, sex, caste, origin, background, which may be conveyed through appearances etc.
·         Relationship functions, which can be traced via touch, proximity, gaze, eye movements etc.
·         Emotion functions, via facial expressions, vocal cues or paralanguages,
·         Delivery functions, effectively and better convey verbal messages through supporting roles of non-verbal cues like gestures and postures, body movements etc.

Importance of NVC

Babies start comprehending words at around six or seven months of age, yet understand NVC well before that time. Therefore NVC is critical in all human communications, irrespective of audience (even if there is no other audience than oneself). It can be summarized as follows:
·         Judging internal state, because NVC attitudes feelings, emotions, consciously or unconsciously, intentionally or unintentionally. And, people make important judgment through such attitudes, feelings, emotions etc.
·         Creating impressions
·         Managing interactions
But still, NVC can be intentional or unintentional, ambiguous. Multiple factors can influence NVC and it is largely contextual.

Barriers to Intercultural Communications

Anxiety, assuming similarities and differences, ethnocentrism, stereotypes, prejudices, language and non-verbal communications (kinesics and proxemics) are hurdles for effective cross cultural communications. Lary M. Barna (1997) has singled out six stumbling blocks in effective Intercultural communications. These consist assumption of similarities (differences); language differences; non-verbal misinterpretation; perception and stereotypes; tendency to (quickly) evaluation and judgment; and high anxiety or tension.
In addition, ethnocentrism, (a tendency to value own culture above everything which ultimately leads towards cultural misunderstandings), cultural context (like high vs low context cultures); value of time, feelings and emotions, volume (of sounds), tone of voice (paralanguage); gender expectations, cultural tensions, value of personal space, religious views and intercultural communication apprehension (uneasiness, anxiety) also play critical roles in making cross-cultural communication less effective.
Knowing the differences among cultures (in group and out-group) is the first and single most effect step that can overcome hurdles in ICC and help make it effective and tension. There are certain rules and norms that can help overcome barriers to ICC, which are as follows:
·         Break assumption: don't assume but try to learn about people and their lives
·         Empathize: be sympathetic
·         Involve in tasks, talks, decisions etc
·         Discourage heard mentality: shun ethnocentrism
·         Be wise, use tact while dealing with people from different cultural background
·         Treat others as you wish to be treated

Additionally, in business and diplomatic dealings, prior research about counterparts' background, experience and cultures are important. Likewise, appointing an adviser or hiring consultant, paying close attention to unfolding negotiation dynamics is also critical.
Besides, accepting diversities, avoiding cultural faux-pas, slang/parlances, unfamiliar words, unknown codes and signs, ethnocentric appeals, but rather paying close attention to audience is beneficial in cross-cultural dealings.


Media and Socio-Cultural Patterns
Impact of Confucianism on interpersonal relationships, dominant cultural patters of communication patterns, cultural contexts, model of inter-cultural communication competence

Impact of Confucianism on interpersonal relationships

(Based on Samovar's book)
Human beings draw close to one-another by their common nature, but habits and customs keep them apart, says Confucius.
Confucianism is a philosophy of human nature than considers proper human relationships as the basis of society. Like Buddhism, Confucianism is based on the teaching of a single man (Kong Fuzi, in English Confucius).
Confucius was born in modern day Shandong province of Eastern China. Like a religious traditions, Confucianism for thousands of years, has had a major role in shaping the culture and history of millions of people. Form its founding to modern age, the philosophy of Confucius is discussed even in the Western society. Many who study East Asian economic miracles over past six decades (Japan, South Korea, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao) concluded that Confucius value like emphasis on work; future; achievement; education; merit and frugality have played a key role in East Asian countries' economic development.
Confucius influences behaviours in most Asian cultures and influences the behaviours of Asians living in non-Asian cultures. However, it's most impact is seen in China. "If we were to describe in one word the Chinese way of life for the last two thousands years, it would be Confucian, (Samovar et al. 2007 p. 146)".
Confucian notions include selfless, allegiance, defence to help accomplish their purpose of controlling the masses. Therefore, China is considered as a defence power rather than an offence one.
Confucianism is not a relation in conventional sense, and it's not thought of a formal religion like Islam or Hinduism. But still, it has been "a system of ethical percept for the proper management of society". In fact Confucius himself discouraged prayer, cited at Somovar et al. 2007, p. 146).
Despite not being a religion, Confucianism touches the live of over one billion people in one way or another. Why? Because, it has been a system of political, social, ethical and religious thought based on his and his successors' teachings.
Confucius is perhaps the most influential individual in Asian history, not so much for his views on government as for his teachings on proper relationships and conduct among people," notes Scarboraugh.
Confucius held positions of government offices before starting full teachings at the age of 30. According to him, the government must be founded on virtue and all the citizens must be attentive to the duties of their positions. Over 3000 people came to study under him and over 70 of them became well-established scholars. He always stressed value for personal dignity, self-respect, reputation, honour and prestige. Like Socrates, Confucius didn't write down his philosophy. His teachings have come to us through his disciples.
Core assumptions of Confucianism
1.      People are basically good and have to learn what constitutes correct behaviours.
2.       Deep commitment to social harmony; primarily concerned with maintaining social harmony in all interpersonal relationships.
3.      Emphasis on individual's social relations and social responsibility over self-consciousness.
Cultural manifestations
Humanism (Jen), Rituals, rites, properties, conventions ()Li , Power (Te) and the Arts (Wen).


1.      McQuail, Danis. 2005. Mass Communication Theory. Vistaar Publications, New Delhi.
2.      Kharel, P. 2015. The Wheel of Communications: Himawatkhanda and Neighbourhood. Aabritti Chhapakhana, Kathmandu.
3.      Samovar, Larry A. et al. 2007. Communication Between Cultures.  Wardsworth, Cengage Learning, USA.
4.      Hartley, John.2004. Key Concepts in Communications, Culture and Media. Routledge, London.
5.      Beatty, John and Takahashi, Junichi. 2003. Intercultural Communications. Biztantra, India.

Intercultural Communication Reviewed by K.D on Sunday, January 26, 2020 Rating: 5 Philosophy of ICC: Over seven billion people share the world's limited resources to improve our living. The world has grown so ...

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