Embracing cultural similarities and bridging differences in supportive communication

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Abstract

This paper critically reviews cultural similarities and differences between European Americans and Asians or Asian Americans found in contemporary supportive communication research. In addition to research primarily examining and reporting cultural differences of social support between European Americans and Asians or Asian Americans, recent research in culture and social support has been focusing on examining both cultural similarities and differences. Broad similarities across cultures have been found regarding evaluations of support provision goals, messages, behaviors, ratings of support provision beliefs, attitudes, and intentions, likelihood of seeking support and so forth. These findings therefore provide us an alternative lens to examine supportive communication across cultures: rather than highlighting cultural differences, we instead want to attend to both cultural similarities and differences. Theoretically, this transition allows us to have a comprehensive understanding about support processes across cultures. Practically, this change of focus provides bridging opportunities and helps enhance understanding between European Americans and Asians or Asian Americans during supportive interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22-41
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Asian Pacific Communication
Volume25
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

Keywords

  • Asian support communication
  • Cultural similarities and differences
  • Support provision
  • Support seeking and receiving

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