First Advisor

LaRay M. Barna

Term of Graduation

Spring 1975

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Speech Communication


Speech Communication




East and West, Intercultural communication, Cross-cultural orientation, Language and culture



Physical Description

1 online resource (v, 111 pages)


The purpose of this thesis is to lay the foundation for a better understanding between the East and the West by (l) a broad overview of the traditional value systems and thought patterns (sometimes referred to as cultural orientations) of the Indians, Chinese, and Euro-Americans, (2) comparing and contrasting these value systems and thought patterns, and (3) showing the effects of the contrasts of the Asian and Western cultural orientations on intercultural communication.

The differences in the traditional heritages that affect the way that the three major cultures look at the world are discovered by drawing together descriptions from classical literature that have stood the test of time. The effects of the meaning of these contrasting cultural orientations on intercultural communication are discussed.

The terms "culture," "communication," "intercultural communication," "cultural orientations," "thought patterns," "East" and "West" are defined.

A general review of the literature shows that the problem of intercultural communication is very complex, sophisticated, and has been present through history. Though philosophers, sociologists, psychologists, and communicators have attempted to show and be aware of the cultural differences, not much has been researched in terms of how these differences affect intercultural communication. Their only overwhelming· concern is how people think at the moment of communication. They have usually ignored the nature of intercultural communication behaviors as the subsequent, natural response and expressions of cultural oriented thought patterns of the individuals.

An overview of the three major cultures is presented, followed by a comparison and contrast of the categories of will, activity, desire, progress, reason, attitude toward rhetoric, caste, distinctiveness, belief, change, and heroes; illustrations are then given of how these differences caused misunderstanding in the past.

It is open to argument whether the "categorized" thought patterns are typical and applicable to contemporary events; however, examples are given to show some of these traditional attitudes and behaviors have influenced intercultural communication.


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