Issue Vol. 2, No. 4 / October 2006

Postcolonial Theory and Asian Communication Theory: Toward a Creative Dialogue
Author(s): Wimal Dissanayake
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During the past two decades, postcolonial theory has emerged as a powerful mode of cultural inquiry influencing diverse disciplines. Postcolonial theorists are interested in the different ways in which colonial writers sought to present the contours and dynamics of colonial societies and cultures, and to rectify the numerous deficiencies contained in that effort. Edward Said, Gayatri Spivak and Homi Bhabha have done useful work in the areas of contemporary postcolonial writing and diasporic writing. However, one of their primary weaknesses is their lack of engagement with tradition, the past, and the distant cultural memory of colonial societies. Asian communication theory refers to a growing body of work by a number of communication scholars from diverse cultural backgrounds who are interested in uncovering Asian approaches to communication. They seek to examine classical texts, ancient traditions of thought and cultural practices in order to understand the way ancient cultures of Asia looked at problems of communication. While Asian communication theorists are strong on the past and tradition and classical texts, they do not display an equal interest on issues of knowledge, power and ideology. Postcolonial theorists excel in this area. What is needed is a dialogue between these two groups of theorists which would enable one group to draw on the strengths of the other.
Applying a Critical Metatheoretical Approach to Intercultural Relations: The Case of U.S.-Japanese Communication
Author(s): William Kelly
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Although U.S.-Japanese communication has been the frequent focus of intercultural communication scholars, there have been few studies of interpersonal U.S.-Japan communication from a critical metatheoretical perspective. This paper attempts to fill in this large gap. First, the differences between an approach focusing on cultural differences and a critical metatheoretical approach are discussed. Then a case study based on the author's personal experience of having lived 19 years in Japan is presented in order to illustrate the ways in which a critical metatheoretical approach is able to account for many crucial aspects of interpersonal communication between U.S. Americans and Japanese that would otherwise be neglected and ignored.
A Theory-Based Approach to Developing the Cross-Cultural Skills of American Managers
Author(s): Steve Sizoo, Hendrick Serrie, and Morris Shapero
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Cross-cultural skills are a major criterion for success in the global business environment. For American managers in multinational organizations, this means learning to manage cultural difference on three levels: self, interpersonal, and organizational. Since literature indicates that training programs based on cross-cultural and learning theories are more effective, this paper examines a theory-based cross-cultural skills training program consisting of five exercises. These related and synergistic activities give participants experience in dealing with and solving real-world problems in cross-cultural management on all three levels. To confirm the efficacy of this process, a pre-test post-test experiment was conducted with a treatment-group and control-groups. Results show that the treatment group was the only one to show a significant (at p<.05) increase in intercultural expertise--a measure of cross-cultural skill. Limitations and implications are discussed.
Media Literacy and Cross-cultural Communication with Alternative Media \"POC\": Cyber Communication in Cross-Community Practices
Author(s): EunHeui Choi, Nobuhiko Fujihara, and Shintaro Azechi
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We conducted communication practices using the \"Public Opinion Channel (POC)\" which was one of the alternative media to mass media and investigated the progress of mutual understanding among distance communities. POC users communicate by sharing \"POC stories,\" which are constructed sets of a still picture with text information. In our first communication practice, 3 groups of Japanese university students who are at distance areas to each other participated, made POC stories to introduce their own areas, and shared the stories. The results revealed that the stories were often posted which were reported by mass media, but the daily lives of students were sometimes introduced according to their communications progressed. In our second practice, Japanese and Korean university students were asked to communicate via the POC. Through practical research, students of one university who were in pre-service teacher training learned network communication skills and ICT (Information and Communication Technology) skills. The students noticed some strategies were required to encourage communication via the Internet, and used the strategies, for example, of quoting the comments of others. Also, the students found common problems and prospects in cross-cultural communication through media and were introduced to alternative ways of cross-cultural communication.
The Present Situation and Analysis of Mass Media Use & Media Credibility in Countryside of Mid-China: The Case of Hubei Province
Author(s): Zhang Mingxin
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Based on the theoretical framework of Media Credibility Theory, the current study examined mass media credibility perception and its internal mechanism by China's rural residents through a survey administrated to a randomly selected sample. 548 respondents inhabit countryside of Hubei province and finished a valid questionnaire. Findings suggested that great difference existed among the status of and role played by mass media. The authors found that mass media credibility perception by rural residents was relatively low and there were significant differences in credibility perception across media channels, with newspaper and broadcast being the most credible, followed by TV and magazine being the most incredible. Multiple hierarchical regression analysis discovered that demographic and media use factors have great effect on media credibility while media reliance and interpersonal communication variables have little contribution. The current study tested the application of Media Credibility Theory in rural China through empirical work and made innovative revision of the theory on the basis of factual conditions of Chinese rural society.
National Interest and Source Stance In the Coverage of U.S.-China Relations By The New York Times and People's Daily (1987-1996)
Author(s): Xigen Li
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This study examined the relationship between national interest and source stance in the coverage of U.S.-China relations in their respective newspapers of record, The New York Times and People's Daily. The findings suggest that the relationship between source stance and references to national interest in the stories was decided by the central interest of the respective country in the bilateral relations, and how the issues involving national interest were presented by the newspapers. Contrary to the common notion that government officials played a major role in coverage of international news, this study found limited impact of government officials on the major aspects of the coverage. Dominant sources' stance toward U.S.-China relations was not found to be associated with portrayal direction of the stories, nor with bias of the news coverage in either newspaper. The deviation between dominant source stance and the portrayal direction and bias of coverage may suggest that reporters' take on the issues involved play an important role in shaping the coverage of U.S.-China relations.
How to Succeed in Media Product Innovation
Author(s): Zhu Chunyang, and Deng Jianguo
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The paper, examining the media product innovation as a media organization's vital approach for further growth, suggests that the underlying value in media innovation is to build an as-stable-as-possible communicative and interactive relation with as-many-as-possible media users among its targeted audience. Following this, the paper proposes that the media product innovation process includes three cardinal dimensions: cost innovation, differentiation innovation and total value innovation. The author holds that a media organization's benefits from the decision makings in those three dimensions are affected by the organization's possessed resources, its competitors, and its media product's current life stage.
Rhetoric and Culture: An Integrative View
Author(s): William J. Starosta
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vol2no4/Abstract: \"Culture\" and \"race\" and\" gender\" and \"identity\" become verbs, not nouns; the process to articulate any of these is open to contestation and struggle. That makes it a rhetorical process. Culture, then, becomes a repertoire of familiar possibilities brought to bear in the avowal and contestation of identity. Does that focus us narrowly or broadly? The main thing it minimizes is behavioral/ social science studies, since they tend to essentialize, to say what is, rather than to look at process, the communication of \"how it comes to be,\" at whose expense?
Recentering Ego: A Buddhist Asiacentric Approach to the Public Sphere
Author(s): Bhavana Upadhyaya
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This article aims to, first, bring the concept of ego to the fore in the discussion of public sphere; and second, to offer an Asiacentric approach to the understanding of the concept. I argue that ego has been discussed mostly and ambiguously in Western terms and that an Asiacentric approach to ego can bolster and refine our understanding of the public sphere. From a Buddhist Asiacentric perspective, public sphere is defined as a dynamic between the impulse of ego, which seeks to maintain differences, and the impulse of harmony that seeks to lessen differences. The article posits a critique of J├╝rgen Habermas's approach to ego as well as a discussion of Emmanuel Levinas's philosophy as it relates to the public sphere, and then presents an application of the Buddhist approach of ego to the theorization about the public sphere.
A Repentance of Wrongdoing or a Declaration of Power?: A Critique of Bill Clinton's \"Public Confession\"
Author(s): Xiaosui Xiao
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This study examines former U.S. President Bill Clinton's televised \"confession\" speech of August 17, 1998 from the perspective of power rhetoric, which sees discourse as a process of making appropriate and recognizable power claims. This approach to rhetoric criticism has not received serious attention. Viewing Clinton's public \"confession\" as a virtual declaration of power, I argue that his speech consists of five basic power claims. With his claims to privacy and to family life in particular, Clinton seemed to strike a sympathetic chord with a majority of Americans. However, he had to face certain damaging consequences for failing to coordinate the important power relationships that were involved in claiming those powers.
Roles of English-Language Media in the Chinese Society
Author(s): Guo Ke
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The paper attempts to examine roles of English-language media (ELM) in the Chinese society. ELM has been in existence in China for over a century and has witnessed the fastest development in the past three decades. The paper starts with a brief historical review of ELM in China. The paper then identifies three changing roles of ELM in the Chinese society, namely, elite role, language role and bridge role, and takes a sociological approach for its discussions on the three roles of ELM in China. Finally, the paper offers an overall assessment on the status quo of ELM and also discusses three development trends of ELM in China.
Positive Analysis of the Rapid Rise of Chinese Media Power
Author(s): Hu Angang and Zhang Xiaoqun
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Tsinghua University, Beijing, China Abstract: In an information society, mass media becomes an important soft power and has a more and more important position and role in the competition of the comprehensive national power. This paper analyzes media power and penetration level of China, the United States, Japan, Russia and India. The main conclusions arrived at are: China's media have undergone a rapid development over the past 20 years. China has become a big media power now, and will be a strong media power in the future.
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