China Media Research - Vol. 10, No. 4

CMRO 10(4)

Issue Vol. 10, No. 4 / October 2014

[Special Issue: Chinese Philosophy and Human Communication]

China Media Research, Volume 10, Number 4, 2014

Editors: Guo-Ming Chen & Xiaosui Xiao

Constructing Common Ground for Cross-cultural Communication

Author(s): Xiaosui Xiao

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It is a long-cherished wish of many people to establish common ground for cross-cultural communication. Various conceptualizations of how to achieve this have been developed through the centuries. That which is most encouraging and inspiring is not, however, based on the notion of a gift from God or the foundation of humanity, or a universal structure of human experience, but rather is conceived as the terms, agreements, and consensus reached by two cultural parties to facilitate communication and mutual understanding. This essay takes the archetypal metaphor as the point of departure to discuss the possibility of building such common ground. It is argued that cross-cultural communication is an interactive, two-way metaphorical process. The founding of a basis of understanding between two cultures depends on whether their conceptual systems are able to reconcile the divergences in their metaphorical structures by way of mutual projection and accommodation, and on whether they are willing to agree to such reconciliation. [China Media Research. 2014; 10(4): 1-9]

Communicating Not-Knowing: Education, Daoism and Epistemological Chaos

Author(s): Will Buckingham

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Mainstream educational theory and practice tend to favour what Freire, in Pedagogy of the Oppressed, has called 慴anking education� in which students are seen as depositories of knowledge. But seeing pedagogy as a matter of simply communicating knowledge misses the epistemological complexities of our relationship with the world. By means of a reading of the Dao De Jing and the Zhuangzi, in this paper I intend to explore how the communication of not-knowing may be of central value in teaching and learning. Arguing that our lives are characterised by an 慹pistemological chaos�in which the distinctions between knowing and not-knowing can never be firmly established, I suggest that the Daoist texts may allow teachers and students to rethink the purpose of education as a matter of yang sheng, or 憂ourishing life, by means of developing skill in dealing with the epistemological chaos in which we are immersed. [China Media Research. 2014; 10(4): 10-19]

Understanding Intersubjectivity through Confucius Notions of Ren, Shu, and Junzi

Author(s): Peiling Zhao

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Intersubjectivity centralizes connections between self and other as the precondition of all human existences, experiences, and interactions, and has been argued as an essential mechanism that facilitates social communication. The idea of intersubjectivity was created to challenge the western traditional Cartesian subjectivity predicated on the subject-object binary, but various notions of subjectivity and human relationships have led to conflicting theories and divergent interpretations, and consequently established different kinds of communication. Among them, discussions on how to conceptualize the intersubjective relationships and on how to construct higher level of intersubjectivity, such as empathy, are of particular interest to communication studies and can be explored with Confucianism, which is mostly concerned with humanism and harmony in human relationships. To this aim, this paper will first present different notions of intersubjectivity and explain how different notions of intersubjectivity construct different images and notions of communication. The paper then discusses how different notions of empathy are predicated on different notions of intersubjectivity and consequently construct different kinds of communication. Drawing upon the Confucian notions of ren, shu, and junzi, the remaining sections of the paper will elaborate on how these notions offer both concrete understandings of intersubjectivity as a precondition for human existence and experience and specific approaches and methods to construct intersubjective relationships and achieve empathy. [China Media Research. 2014; 10(4): 20-28]

Being Worthy of Persuasion: Political Communication in the Han Feizi

Author(s): Kevin DeLapp

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This paper examines the attitudes toward political persuasion at work in the writings of Han Feizi (280-233 BCE). Particular attention is given to differentiating Han Feizi抯 thought from Western analogs under which it has suffered hermeneutically, especially comparisons with Plato抯 so-called 搉oble lie.�After probing some of the psycho-social assumptions of ancient Greek versus Chinese political discourse, Han Feizi抯 own view is reconstructed, according to which practices of deception and secrecy are permissible under specific moral and political conditions. It is argued that not only is the account which emerges a more charitable interpretation of Han Feizi, but also that it is independently attractive as a helpful and realistic lens through which to view contemporary anxieties concerning political discourse and transparency. [China Media Research. 2014; 10(4): 29-38]

The Impact of CHinese Military Philosophy on the Development of Propaganda Tactics

Author(s): Pei-Ling Lee

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A Simple Glimpse of the Present Times: Hand in Hand with Dao De Jing

Author(s): Wilhelm A. Julian

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Crucial to Chinese philosophy is the human experience (past and present); limited in this space and time where practical wisdom is attained. Dao De Jing is an ancient Chinese philosophy, while postmodernism pervades cutting edge and cyber world technology which are manifestations of the “uncarved block.” Advanced science and technology, advanced knowledge and research, and advanced information and awareness, etc., are always in relation to human being’s conditions. Dao De Jing claims that things are shaped according to their nature and relational conditions fulfill them. Practically, Chinese live meaningfully by using common sense. Postmodernism’s principal approach is deconstruction which does not exclude that originates from common sense. In Dao De Jing the wise rescues and nothing is excluded. Interestingly, postmodernism preserves nature and life which gears towards the future destiny of reality. Dao De Jing views that nature will proceed back to the origin: to return to the destiny of being which is reality. Perhaps, postmodern and ancient Chinese realities can be reconciled after all? [China Media Research. 2014; 10(4): 48-58]

The Communicative Wisdom in the Analects of Confucius: A Coomparative Perspective

Author(s): Bo Shan & Jincao Xiao

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The Paradox of Chinese Communication: The Case of Keqi

Author(s): Yanfang Tang

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This article studies the “paradox” regarding the practice of keqi in Chinese communication. While not discounting the scholarly consensus that keqi denotes an important principle that Chinese observe in their everyday life, this study draws attention to the other side of the story and discusses the “suppressed rules” or qian guize 潜规则 that sanction the omnipresent rude behaviors in Chinese interpersonal communication. The paradox of keqi does not exist only at the behavioral level, but can also be traced to the level of the philosophical perspectives that have given rise to the contrarian and contradictory behaviors revolving around keqi in particular and around many other communication styles in general. The paradox of keqi, in other words, is one of the many paradoxes existing in Chinese communication which have received little scholarly attention as of date. By studying the paradox of keqi at both the behavioral and the philosophical levels, this article intends to call for a rethinking of some of the established methodologies in the study of Chinese communication and to arrive at a new approach that takes into consideration the essentially paradoxical nature of Chinese communication and properly explains this phenomenon. [China Media Research. 2014; 10(4): 69-78]

Imagining a Diasporic Confucian Feminist Ethos: An Interpretive Study of Chinese Immigrant Women’s Acculturation Narratives

Author(s): Lili Shi

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This paper challenges the assumption in philosophy literature that Confucianism and feminism are incompatible, and argues that as a habit, a location, and an ethos, Confucianism continues to influence everyday Chinese women across national borders in complex ways. Using a feminist, interpretive lens, the author revisits a set of qualitative data collected from a group of first-generation Chinese immigrant women. Through the life-history interviews on their gendered, lived experiences of acculturation in the Brooklyn, New York City, the author ventures to suggest a three-fold Confucian feminist ethos: 1) duty-based feminine ethos (“fen”) with dynamic meanings. 2) Filial piety (“xiao”) as important life orientation yet also a dynamic, interactive space. 3) Confucian Junzi ideal as part of feminine ideal. [China Media Research. 2014; 10(4): 79-87]

Sages and the Majority: Changing Paradigms of Political Communication in Late Ming China (1590s-1640s)

Author(s): Wei Yang

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Rhetoric of Legitimacy: Comparing Han Yu’s Defense of Confucianism and Mao Zedong’s Justification Of the Communist Rule

Author(s): Xing Lu

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This paper identifies and analyzes the rhetorical features of apologetics in the selected writings of Han Yu and Mao Zedong. While Han Yu defended Confucianism and condemned Daoism and Buddhism practiced during his time, Mao Zedong not only defended but legitimized Communist rule, concurrently condemning Chiang Kai-shek in modern China. Both historical figures used the rhetorical techniques of redefinition, moral appeals, presenting evidence, and condemnation of opponents. It is evident that Mao’s rhetorical styles have been very much influenced by those of Han Yu. Although writing in different times and for different political purposes, both men demonstrated remarkable similarities in their rhetoric of legitimacy and left a lasting rhetorical legacy in Chinese history. However, their rhetoric of apologetics is one-sided, polarized, and does not offer audiences the opportunity to engage in multiple perspectives and civil dialogue. [China Media Research. 2014; 10(4): 101-110]

China-centric Universalism (Tianxi Zhuyi): The Ideological Influence of Chinese Nationalist Philosophy on Afro-Orientalist Rhetoric 1949-1971, Decline and Re-birth

Author(s): Reynaldo Anderson & D. L. Stephenson

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This article examines the role of Chinese Nationalist philosophy’s influence on the development of what scholars refer to as Afro-Orientalism and African-American Rhetoric. Nationalism in this article is used as an analytical term tracing expressions of Chinese nationalism and African American nationalism. Furthermore, the article examines the transition of the Chinese revolution and its impact on Black radical rhetoric in relation to the international realpolitik. Finally, the article argues that the current politics of the modern world system is influenced by the efforts of the West and its allies to discourage the potential re-emergence of Afro-Orientalism and contain the aspirations of Africa, China, and others to influence control of the world heartland. [China Media Research. 2014; 10(4): 111-121]

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