Date of Award

Summer 1998

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Director

Thomas J. Socha

Committee Member

E. James Baesler

Committee Member

Michael E. Hucles

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.H85 G36


lntercultural communication is an inherent aspect of life, and "as we move or are driven toward a global village and increasingly frequent cultural contact, we need more than simply greater factual knowledge of each other. We need, more specifically, to identify what might be called the 'rulebooks of meaning' that distinguish one culture from another" (Barnlund, 1975, p. 7).

This thesis sought to discover and contribute valuable content to this "rulebook of meaning" through intercultural communication between high context, collectivistic cultures and low-context, individualistic cultures in the situation of experiencing embarrassment. One goal of this study was to determine if distinct differences do exist between collectivistic and individualistic cultures in regards to ways of dealing or coping with embarrassment. Since specific embarrassment reduction strategies were identified for the two cultures, then in order to have a better understanding of the cultures, each must develop an understanding of how the other reacts and responds when embarrassed; thus adding an important component in the "rulebook of meanings."


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