Journal of Intercultural Communication, Issue 18, Oktober 2008

Kay Kyeongju Seo, Paul Chamness Miller, Cynthia Schmidt, Patience Sowa

Creating Synergy between Collectivism and Individualism in Cyberspace: A Comparison of Online Communication Patterns between Hong Kong and U.S. Students


In recent years, studies have proposed the use of intercultural communication to promote understanding among students across geographic distances and foster studentsí global awareness and international experience. This study compared Hong Kong studentsí WebCT discussion postings with those of U.S. students to investigate differences in their online communication patterns. Results showed that while Asian students were more interactive by inviting other studentsí opinions, American students were less responsive and more interested in stating their own views. In addition, American students tended to be direct and straightforward in expressing their positions whereas Asian participants used ambiguous language and conveyed their thoughts implicitly.

Key words: intercultural communication, online discussion, collectivism, individualism

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