Kaplan's framework of contrastive rhetoric has been widely accepted in the field of cross-cultural technical communication. However, in the last four decades, contextual factors such as economic globalization trend and the advances of communication technologies are changing our ways of interacting with others. As a result our understanding of culture and cultural differences need to be adjusted. In this research, I start by recommending a workable definition of culture in the present context-culture as a process, which establishes a foundation for cross-cultural rhetorical research in the new era when communication across cultures transcends national boundaries. Based on the critical perspective of culture, I continue to point out the limitations of contrastive rhetoric and argue that contrastive rhetoric's view of culture and its research purpose and methodology need to be modified to overcome its constraints and better meet the needs of the present social context.