Issue Vol. 7, No. 3 / July 2011

Special Section: The Interplay between Culture and Individuality: Promoting a Dialectical Perspective
Guest Editors: Yanrong Chang, University of Texas-Pan American
A Cultural Psychological Analysis of the Interplay between Culture and Individuals
Author(s): Takeshi Hamamura
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Culture has been a largely neglected concept in psychology. For a long time, psychologists have regarded many mental processes behind humans' social behaviors as non-cultural. Such a view, however, has been transformed within the last few decades, first by a small number of studies showing the profoundly cultural nature of mental processes, and then by a larger number of studies demonstrating the complex interplay between culture and the mind. This paper introduces a cultural psychological analysis of social behaviors. The paper first reviews research revealing the ways in which even some of the most basic mental processes, such as our sense of self or the ways in which we understand the world, are cultural. These considerations do not preclude individuality in social behaviors. Individuals participating in the same national culture vary greatly in their mental processes, and consideration of this issue requires the examination of cultures within the single national culture and the dynamic interplay between culture and the mind. Although the perspective introduced here suggests the profoundly cultural nature of social behaviors, these behaviors are also deeply personal, reflecting idiosyncratic ways in which individuals negotiate with their culture. [China Media Research. 2011; 7(3): 1-10]
Being Mindful of the Habitus of Culture
Author(s): Aaron Castelán Cargile
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The dialectic between cultural determinism and individual agency lies at the heart of intercultural communication study. Indeed, we must understand, but not overestimate the patterned constraints of culture when interacting with “others” because all cultural actors are not alike. In order to better appreciate how individuals relate to the structure of culture, this essay will employ Bourdieu’s notion of habitus to explore both the conscious and unconscious connections. Following this, the practice of mindfulness will be briefly examined as a possible means to increase individuals' capacity for reflexive agency. [China Media Research. 2011; 7(3): 11-20]
Performing Cultural and Personal Identities through Talk
Author(s): Yanrong Chang
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Culture and communication research has predominantly interested in exploring culture as a shaping force of individual behaviors (Gudykunst, 1998; Gudykunst, Ting-Toomey, & Chua, 1988; Philipsen, 1987, 1992) and how communication reflects and constructs cultural identities (Collier & Thomas, 1988; Philipsen, 2002; Ting- Toomey, & Chung, 2005). What is neglected is that communicators are also individual persons (Cargile, 2005; Martin & Nakayama, 1999) who develop personal styles of communication (Tracy, 2002). Such a bias has inadvertently led to cultural stereotyping and the elimination of individual differences in a cultural community. To redress this bias, this case study attempts to show, through a close analysis of a high school teacher's speech at a teacher-parent conference in China, how communicators perform both cultural and personal identities through talk. It discusses the dialectical relationship between culture and individuality in light of the concept of cultural threshold. Finally, the implications of the study are discussed. [China Media Research. 2011; 7(3): 21-32]
Reflections on Lived Experiences and Communication
Author(s): Julien C. Mirivel
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moment-to-moment lived experiences and the communicative moments that we co-create with others. To support this argument, I examine a short autobiography and my journal. In the process, I reveal five claims that speak to the process of becoming a person: (a) the individual emerges through lived experience, (b) it is not culture that matters most, but the people we meet, (c) communicative moments are crucial experiences, (d) cultures are predictable, not a person’s life, and (e) culture does not provide answers, the individual must choose. The conclusion is an encouragement to communicate ethically. [China Media Research. 2011; 7(3): 33-42]
Is it Just Cultural? Exploring (Mis)perceptions of Individual And Cultural Differences of Immigrants through Marriage in Contemporary Taiwan
Author(s): Todd L. Sandel
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Increasing migration across national and/or cultural boundaries for the purpose of marriage is one of the unintended outcomes of the forces of globalism in recent decades. Such migrations lead to communicative challenges in relationships among spouses, families, and communities, due to differences of culture and individual understandings. The study first reviews the literature of marriage in Taiwan, examining the economic, demographic, and cultural factors which supported two kinds of marriage: “Minor marriages” of the past and cross border marriages of the present. Then it presents findings from a study of members of cross border marriages conducted across a range of communities in Taiwan from 2007-2008. These demonstrate how culture guides what participants may do to constitute marriages, and how cultural categories may be invoked to talk about such actions. Finally, the role of individual agency to shape cultural talk is also examined. [China Media Research. 2011; 7(3): 43-55]
Language Change and Value Orientations in Chinese Culture
Author(s): Xing Lu and Guo-Ming Chen
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We contend in this paper that language shapes as well as reflects social reality, thought patterns, and value/belief systems of a culture. We substantiate our claim by closely examining Chinese family value orientations and their relationships with language expressions. The linguistic features and cultural implications of the value orientations are explicated. We further investigate the impact of changes in the use of language on the social reality and thought patterns of Chinese culture. We conclude that language and culture are intertwined. The interplay between language and culture creates infinite discursive possibilities and multi-dimensional and ever changing human experiences. [China Media Research. 2011; 7(3): 56-63]
Stereotypes of Chinese: Media Use and Olympic Games
Author(s): Lingling Zhang
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This study explored the stereotypes of Chinese and Chinese government by American college students, and how media coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games impacted the stereotypes of Chinese and Chinese government. Three hundred and twenty American college students were surveyed. The study found that American college students had positive stereotypes about Chinese and negative stereotypes about Chinese government. The more American media they used as their information sources, the more positive stereotypes about Chinese. The 2008 Beijing Olympic Games had positive impacts on their stereotypes. The more positive perceptions American college students have about the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, the more positive stereotypes about Chinese and the Chinese government. [China Media Research. 2011; 7(3): 64-71]
Xueqin Cao and Isaac Newton: An Intercultural Perspective on Chinese and Western Intellectual Traditions
Author(s): Dr. Hui Huang
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The intellectual provides an important stimulus to push forward the society from which he or she is derived and culturally shaped. This paper reviews Chinese and Western intellectual traditions and their early communications, tracing their dissimilar worldviews on the universe, time and self, and also their different knowledge, interpersonal and activity orientations. In spite of their divergent origins, the paper concludes with a synthesis of the two traditions in terms of their intercultural complementarities. [China Media Research. 2011; 7 (3): 72-79]
Perception of University Non-Academic Professional Staff towards New Media Credibility in Malaysia
Author(s): Davood Mehrabi, Musa Abu Hassan, and Muhamad Sham Shahkat Ali
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As more people use the mass media as a source of information, the media must sustain the credibility of what they present to audience members. This study is meant to provide a better and clearer understanding on the perception of printed media (newspaper and magazine) and the Internet to get news information by non-academic professional staff. The main objective of the study is to find out the information source credibility between printed and online communication media as perceived by the public. A survey with 270 non-academic professional staff was conducted to determine the perception of university non-academic professional staff towards news media credibility in Malaysia. The specific objectives of this study are to determine the relationship between genders, media usage and issue salience with perception of media credibility. There is not enough evidence from the sample to conclude that credibility and gender are dependent. The results of this study indicate that there is a positive relationship between perceived credibility and amount of time spent on newspaper and magazine reading, and the Internet usage. It was also revealed that there is a positive relationship between issue salience and perception of printed media credibility (newspaper and magazine) and online media credibility (Internet). Based on the findings of this study, it can be concluded that the credibility of newspaper for getting news was rated the highest (M = 2.31, SD = .54) followed by the Internet (M = 2.27, SD = .58) and magazine (M = 2.10, SD = .51). [China Media Research. 2011; 7(3): 80-91]
The Brand Strategies for "Huayi Brothers Media Corp" to Build Up International Competence: A Research Based on the Integration-Expansion of Market Channels
Author(s): Anqi Wang, Tianying Yang, Fangya Lv, and Chunyang Zhu
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This essay takes the Huayi Brothers brand as a research sample, focusing on how the company should broaden its channels to overseas markets to enhance company competence. The sample also acts as a model for cultural brands ‘Going Overseas’. Based on surveys and statistics, in accordance with the company’s situations, the essay tries to analyze the related problem of its films’ overseas promotion and pursue the company’s future strategy. In reference to experiences of film companies both home and abroad, the essay raises effective strategic selections for the Huayi Brothers brand. [China Media Research. 2011; 7(3): 92-100]
The Effects of Cultural Dimensions on Consumers' Use of Mobile SMS Advertising in Taiwan
Author(s): Dr. Kenneth C. C. Yang
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Mobile advertising refers to commercial messages delivered through a wireless equipment or network. SMS mobile advertising is a simple form of mobile advertising that has been introduced and widely used. While advertising practitioners and researchers have shown increasing interests in this innovative advertising format, factors leading to consumers' use of mobile advertising still require a methodical study. Among several published studies about mobile advertising adoption, scholars have increasingly examined the effects of consumers’ cultural dimensions on their mobile advertising use. This study employed Geert Hofstede's (2001) 5-D cultural dimension framework to study the effects of consumers’ cultural dimensions on their adoption behavior.
A questionnaire survey was developed to collect data from 156 college students about their cultural dimensions, attitudes toward mobile SMS advertising, and intention to use mobile SMS advertising. Regression analyses found that consumers’ uncertainty avoidance and collectivism/individualism indices can best predict their use of mobile SMS advertising. Further hierarchical regression analyses, however, indicated that consumers' attitudes toward SMS mobile advertising were more powerful predictors than their cultural dimensions. Theoretical and practical implications were discussed. [China Media Research. 2011; 7(3): 101-110]
De- Westernizing Communication Theory and Research: An Asiacentric Bibliography
Author(s): Yoshitaka Miike
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This Asiacentric bibliography builds on the two previous bibliographies of Asian communication theory and research published in China Media Research (Miike & Chen, 2006; Miike, 2009) and lists over 270 publications on the continuity and change of cultural traditions and communication practices in the Asian region. The updated bibliography purports to include a wide range of journal articles, book chapters, and books on the subject during the 1966-2012 period unless they are already contained in the two predecessors. The present bibliography is intended for those scholars and students in Asia and beyond who are committed to de-Westernizing contemporary communication theory and research and to advancing Asiacentric studies of Asian communication in global and local contexts. [China Media Research. 2011; 7(3): 111-121]
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