Analysis of Guo-Ming Chen’s “The Impact of New Media on Intercultural Communication in Global Context

Topics: Communication, Culture, Cross-cultural communication Pages: 5 (1527 words) Published: November 21, 2013

As technology has rapidly advanced, the ways in which humans communicate with each other have been dramatically altered. These technological advances have given birth to a variety of new forms of media, which include a multiplicity a communicatory devices including everything from mass media and social media, to digitization and data sharing. Within the journal China Media Research, (Volume 8.2, pg. 1-12, 2012) Professor Guo-Ming Chen of the University of Rhode Island authored, “The Impact of New Media on Intercultural Communication in a Global Context”. Within this piece, Chen illustrates the powerful influence that new media possesses within intercultural relationships, which in turn, have created new communities that challenge traditional norms. Chen presents her argument in a clear and concise manner, beginning with a brief history of communication studies, paralleled with how new media has been a dominant cause of globalization. This introduction establishes an outline from which she thoroughly expand her thesis (which I have previously noted) surrounding the theme of intercultural communication. This particular article aids the reader to further understand, and fully comprehend the difficulties that exist within technology’s effect on intercultural communication. Chen’s ideas relate to many of the course themes of CMNS 110, but specifically in Unit 2’s subsection titled the “Cultural Model vs. Transmission Model” of communication, which will further be elaborated within this paper.

Throughout the entirety of her article, Chen aims to answer the overarching question: in what ways do sources of new media (ie. social media, data sharing, etc..) affect cross-cultural communication? She first begins to answer this daunting question by drawing on examples of the globalized world stating that “new media is the main force of accelerating the trend of globalization in human society”(1). At first one might not see the relationship between globalization, intercultural communication and new media, but Chen is able to illustrate how new media has been a driving cause in the trend of globalization. As a result, this weakens borders and boundaries between communities, fostering further communication between various cultures (2). She further explains that this shift in new media has “brought human interaction and society to a highly interconnected and complex level”(2). This demonstrates that Chen clearly acknowledges that advances in technology and media have allowed people throughout the globe to be connected in ways they have never before. Initially, communicatory relationships were quite simple, but gradually becoming more complex. Different forms of communication have evolved from elements such as gestures and sounds, to complicated oral communication, to written word, to these forms of “new media”, demonstrating the complexity of current communication. International boundaries that have been lowered due to new media have made it far easier for humans to connect on a personal and interpersonal level, arguably creating new boundaries within communities and nations that juxtapose traditional norms (3).

Immediately following her introduction of communication studies and globalization, Guo-Ming Chen continues by explaining how new cultures are being derived from the enhanced cross-cultural communication that is a product of the so-called “new media”. New forms of media have started so-called “virtual communities” which operate in both public and private realms in the forms of blogs, social media website, and various other online communities. With these innovative, high-speed and efficient forms of communication, not only individuals are affected, but entire cultures, value sets and social norms(5). Although people tend to see world communication interconnectivity as a positive element, Chen explains that it can also “create a continuity gap between traditions and innovations within a culture”(4). Immediately one can...
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