Edited By Michael B. Hinner
Chinese Communication Theory and Practice
By Marieke de Mooij
Marieke de Mooij notes that increased trade between East and West requires increased cross-cultural communication skills. These communication skills apply not only to interpersonal communication but also to internet communication.
Western communication theory revolves primarily around three elements; namely, the communicator, the message, and the receiver. All three elements are typically considered to be separate of one another. Eastern communication theory, in contrast, sees communication as an exchange or interaction which is more than just the movement of information from one place to another. Western communication theory traces its origins to Aristotle who focused on persuading audiences. In contrast, Eastern communication theory is based on Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism in which the essence of communication is not seen as persuasion, but rather as an element of human relationships designed to create and preserve harmony. That is why Chinese communication concepts consist of harmony, indirectness, the distinction between in-group vs. out-group communication, adaptation to the context and the situation, the use of silence, and empathy or mind reading, de Mooij notes.
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