The movie, Joy Luck Club, demonstrates the various aspects of Chinese women and their struggles to improve the perceptions of Americanized Chinese women. The movie commences when the mother of Suyan, who is a young Chinese woman, June, dies. The journey that June embarks on after she knows that her twin sisters are alive symbolizes the struggles that Joy Luck group practice on improving communication styles of women.
The concept of high and low cultures presents the different styles of communication among various individuals in society. According to the concept, people communicate in diverse ways that represent their cultural perceptions and backgrounds. Therefore, the essay analyses the impact that culture has on communication styles of women and their daughters using the movie, Joy Luck Club, and the concept of high and low context cultures and present the ways of minimizing the impact.
Impact of culture on communication styles of women
According to a high and low cultural concept pioneered by Edward Hall in 1976, low cultures of communication allows individuals to communicate with others explicitly and without cultural and traditional restrictions. Conversely, high communication style places regard the traditions and cultures of a society. High communication styles are deeply rooted, slow in adapting to change, and unified. As a result, the concept places China in the category of high communication with respect to their cultural affiliations.
Considerably, Chinese women born and raised in China have strong attachments to their culture (Bloom, 2009). The strong attachment to their culture and tradition leads to a challenge among Chinese women and their young daughters born and raised in the United States. The cultural challenges happen because of the culture of Western society, which is liberal and free from cultural and traditional ties.
The movie, Joy Luck Club, demonstrates the struggles of Americanized Chinese women in improving the perceptions of their daughters and other women in society. From the movie, it is evident that the women try to instill values like respect, assertiveness, and creativity in which their cultural norms and traditions deny. Tan (2006) explains that the communication style in the United States is a high communication style that contrasts with the communication style, which immigrating Chinese women encounter.
The lifestyle that the women encounter is liberal, free from any tradition, and flexible to trends and dynamics presented by technology. The different communication style creates a communication gap between those individuals, who try to stick the cultures and traditions of their homeland and those who adjust and adapt the new communication styles.
The components of high and low communication styles are evident in the film when the parents of Lindo plan to marry her off to a young boy, Tyan, who does not love her, and thus, plunge her into an unromantic marriage. The act of organizing a marriage without the consent of the individuals concerned is a demonstration of a communication style that has strong attachments to culture and tradition (Bloom, 2009).
The act is different from the low context culture in the United States that is liberal, which permits children to choose and decide their spouses. Another scene in the movie presents the diverse components of high and low context cultures is the feeling held by the daughters of Chinese women. Inadequacies, failures, and anxieties are some of the feelings held by Chinese daughters in the United States because of the cultural affiliations instilled in them by their society.
Intra-Cultural Communication Issues between Mothers and Daughters in the United States
The movie presents differences between high and low context cultures between the United States and China. These differences lead to a communication gap between the women brought up in china and their daughters. Communication gap transpires because the daughters born in the United States come across a different culture that is liberal and free from any traditional ties. Therefore, the daughters get conflicting cultures presented to them by society and their parents.
Some of the daughters opt to adopt the low communication context cultures, practiced in the United States as opposed to the high context culture practiced in China. Intra-cultural communication issues among American Chinese women and their daughter exists since the daughters become vulnerable to Western cultures that exist in the United States, a culture different from the Chinese culture (Tan, 2006).
Therefore, in their quest to retain the Chinese culture among their daughters, Chinese women go through communication challenges as their daughters try to adopt Western cultures.
According to the movie, Chinese women do not get the chance to exercise their rights and values such as assertiveness or respect for others in society. The movie displays how high context culture in China denies women the freedom to fight for their rights and express themselves in society.
According to Samovar (2009), after immigration to the United States, women, who try to stick to the Chinese high context culture, experience communication issues as their daughters adopt the low context style exercised by the individuals in the United States. In the movie, the women are shown communicating with their daughters and telling stories of their homeland.
In addition, the daughters become the victims of cultural difference, and thus, they reveal feelings of insufficiency, fear, and lack assertiveness. As a result, Joy Luck group shown in the movie tries to minimize these feelings among Americans Chinese women.
How to Minimize Communication Issues
Some of the ways that are useful in minimizing the challenges presented in the movie include education, employment, and equal treatment of women in society. Remarkably, the prevalent challenges among Chinese women and their daughters, who live in the United States, occur due to the high context culture that the Chinese people demonstrate. The diverse context cultures lead to the prevailing challenges in the United States.
In the movie, the women immigrating to the United States encounter challenges relate to the existing high and low context cultures. The low context culture has a little attachment on the provisions of the tradition. In contrast, the high context culture practiced in the United States is liberal and free from cultural attachment (Cheeng, 2003). Therefore, education, employment, and equal treatment of women boost their morale and improve communication styles of women in the United States.
The movie, Joy Luck Club, demonstrates the struggles that Americanized Chinese women experience in the United States with their daughters. In the movie, the concept of high and low context cultures is clearly evident among Chinese women, their daughters, and in the culture practiced in the United States.
Some of the things that the movie presents include the struggles that Americanized women in the United States perform in an attempt to boost their morale, assertiveness, and respect of Chinese women in the society. From the movie, cultural conflict is evident since young daughters, who are born in the United States, quickly adopt low context cultures practiced in the country while they forgo those practiced in China.
Bloom, H. (2009). The joy luck group. New York: InfoBase Publishers.
Cheeng, W. (2003). Intercultural Conversations. New York: Peguin Pulishers.
Samovar, L. (2009) Communication Between Cultures. New York: Infobase Publishers.
Tan, A. (2006). The Joy Luck Club. New York: Group of Penguin.