9/11 hope but not hate

Just like Weaver in his speech at the 10th Anniversary of Aoyama Gakuin University’s International   Communication program, he addressed that IC Program is a still relatively a new field of study, which did not even exist thirty-five years ago. Some countries might not even have the specific international communication programs until now. Several days ago a lady who is a journalist in my Spanish class, asked me “So are you pursuing in the new media related field or the traditional media for your career plan?” I was kind of stuck because I knew most people would put “communication” in the school of communication such as using information and communication technologies to make films and so on. Then I elaborated my utterance a little bit more clear “Well, I study at American University’s School of International Service, and our IC Program pays more attention to the multidisciplinary approach. Technically, our program is within International Relations, while using communication as a tool to solve programs at multi levels such as nation states level or even individual level.”

In Weaver’s article, he gave a lot of his personal experience to demonstrate why he thinks international communication is very important, especially pays attention to cultural perspective. In his article, we can capture some details about how United States’ public diplomacy changes from 1950s to the current time. The modernization theory was popular in the 1950s and 1960s, even though I was not born at that specific time period. But as a citizen from a developing country, I did see how the modernization development theory influences China. China also has learned a lot of lesson how to adapt the Western development theory into its own specific national situations. I would admit that some of the learning experience was very awful, bitter such as the “The Great Leap Forward in the 1958 to 1961 initiated by Chairman Mao.” (For more detail, please check at the website: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Leap_Forward) The political leaders drew attention to the economic development, while ignoring the specific situation.

Also, Weaver gave critiques towards Samuel Huntington’s works of art such as Huntington’s book The Clash of Civilizations.  This book was published during the cold war and Huntington was a Cold War Realist. It seems to me that Huntington insists that human conflicts is obviously not avoidable, so the best way to prevent an attack is that you are stronger than your neighbors. I guess that is why during the Cold War, the best word to describe the world politics is “compete” rather than “cooperate”. But right now our global world has changes, with globalization; nation states are more interrelated to each other. People need to talk, communicate instead of fighting to solve a problem. Also, hate can never solve a problem. Just think about the 9/11 Terrorism, also just thought about the recent news “burning Quran by a pastor of Florida”. Does burning Islamic holy book will comfort the thousands of American victims? We need hope instead of hate. We need rational behavior instead of impulsive thoughts. After finishing this blogging, I am on the way to Professor Abkor’s lecture at the DC Jewish Community Center.

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2 Responses to 9/11 hope but not hate

  1. Liza says:

    I think you hit some very significant points in this write-up. First of all, probably like almost every other student in the International Communications program, I am also questioned about what studying International Communications means; and I continue to find people baffled when I explain that no, its not international PR. This multidisciplinary approach allows one to dig deep into a variety of subjects and progress in many types of studies.

    I also must follow up on your point about the ‘Burning the Quran” incident. I think this episode came about not only from ignorance, selfishness, and pure disregard for ones consequences but also because of a lack of international communications. International communications allows each of us to comprehend other’s cultures, religion, priorities, what is significant in ones lives, and much more. This congregation in Gainesville, does not fully understand the repercussions of their actions. This is one thing that the study of intercultural/cross-cultural communications allows us to comprehend. I believe that cross-cultural communications especially here in the US, is vital for every individual no matter which field you are in. No matter whether the misunderstanding/ignorance is a small act or big act there can be huge and significant consequences.

  2. Melissa Moreland says:

    I think you address the assumption of communication correctly in that many people do indeed think of it in terms of mass media or print and broadcast communication. I think again, as Weaver states, people underestimate the concept of cross-cultural communication in foreign policy. As a student in Weaver’s cross-cultural communication class, I am learning the term “realistic cultural empathy” and how this is necessary to understand another culture. In terms of foreign policy, this is crucial for one government to understand the way the opposing country thinks and acts, regardless of their opinion on the matter. It is empathy and not sympathy. Understanding and acting on this concept would help foreign policy immensely in my mind, and it’s because of programs like IC in SIS that will bring the change.

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