The relationship of individualism-collectivism and self-construals to communication styles in India and the United States

Suraj Kapoor, Patrick C. Hughes, John R. Baldwin, Janet Blue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

75 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study investigated the high-/low-context communication construct in terms of individualistic and collectivist values and self-construals. European American students studying in the United States and Indian students studying in India rated 80 communication statements, 29 self-construal statements and 34 value (individualism/collectivism) statements to examine cultural differences in each construct. As expected, Indians rated themselves as more collectivistic, having more interdependent self-construals, and preferring silence and indirect communication than Americans. Contrary to prior theorization, Indians also rated themselves as more dramatic and more individualistic. Several other expected differences were not apparent in this study. These findings show complex subtleties that defy simple definition by the common rubrics or generalizations of individualism/collectivism, self-construal, or high- and low-context behaviors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)683-700
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Intercultural Relations
Volume27
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2003

Keywords

  • Cross-cultural
  • High/low context
  • India
  • Individualism/collectivism
  • Self-construal
  • United States

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