How opinion is expressed in Asian cultures: Challenges for intercultural communication in a globalised world

Dilhara Premaratne

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Due to the heightened intercultural communication brought about by globalisation and advanced communication technologies, the ability to respond in culturally sensitive ways when interacting with other cultures is becoming increasingly important. A cultural variation that can easily lead to miscommunication is the practice of expressing opinion. Cultural variations in expressing opinion could be particularly pronounced between the East and the West. While expressing one's opinion is considered an equal right in the West, it is not held in the same light in most Asian societies. One possible reason for this is that Asian societies had different traditions of opinion formation and expression in the past. In most Asian cultures, opinion-formation was considered mainly the responsibility of those who were influential or in a position of authority. Also, the value attached to group harmony discouraged people from expressing opinion, particularly when it is critical of others. It is likely that this reluctance to express opinion which is common in day-to-day oral interactions is also manifest in writing. The purpose of this paper is to explore the extent to which culture-specific modes of opinion expression are used in Asian writing and how they are different from the way opinion is expressed in English
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)154-163
    JournalInternet Journal of Language, Culture and Society
    Volume38
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

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