Crosstalk and Culture in Sino-American Communication

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Chinese and Americans often unwittingly communicate at cross purposes because they are misled by the cultural trappings of talk. This book aims to clarify their misunderstandings by examining their different ideals and strategies of talk. It draws on cultural, philosophical, and linguistic insights and traces the development of Chinese communicative strategies from Confucius through the 'eight-legged essay' to the boardrooms and streets of Hong Kong. Its formal analysis of taped interchanges and in-depth interviews reveals Chinese speakers' distinctive ways of communicating and relating. Crosstalk and Culture in Sino-American Communication will alert people to the pitfalls of cultural misunderstandings and the hidden assumptions and expectations underlying talk.