Edited By Michael B. Hinner
On the Chinese Traditional Acceptance of Information from the View of Contemporary Communication Theory
By Peiren Shao
Peiren Shao looks at how information is accepted in Chinese culture with the help of ancient Chinese rhetorical traditions. In the past, it was believed that humans are humans because they use language. So the deliberate and careful use of language is important in persuading people to accept information. In traditional Chinese culture, many concepts and words are associated with information acceptance. These words can be clustered into three categories: Vision, sound, and taste, Shao notes.
Information has to be admired to be accepted, so the aesthetics of language are very important to Chinese audiences. The information is accepted via consolidation and with integrity which will allow one to process information without diverted through numerous and disorderly pieces of information. In other words, the message has to be succinct and to the point. For anyone familiar with the work of Edward T. Hall, this sounds very much like high context communication which Hall associates with Chinese communication. German or U.S. American communication, in contrast, is said to be low context. This means, that Germans and Americans run the risk of communicating too many words which will irritate Chinese audiences and, thus, not sway them to accept the transmitted message. So it is imperative for German and Chinese communicators to adapt their low context messages to the high context Chinese culture.
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