Keywords: analysis of communication theory from eastern as

Communication theory, Eastern and western perspectives, Indigenization, western
discursive paradigm, paradigm shift



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scholars and theorists from around the globe have incorporated numerous ideas
and dimensions on proposing communication theories. Based on the factors such
as the structure of the society, cultural background, the way of approaching
varieties of subject matters and so on create subliminal effects on how the
communication theorists build different sets of sequential discourse towards a
strong communication theory. The paper will first and foremost introduce on key
concepts of communication theory, highlight the pre-dominance of imparting
western communication theories, gradual emergence of eastern theories thereby
penetrating stability, a comprehensive analysis of communication theory from
eastern as well as western perspective and finally cater a gist study on the
coherence of eastern and western perspective on communication in the contemporary










and extensive research, theoretical assumptions, fundamental frameworks on the
field of communication have led scholars’ expertise in formulating various
theories of communication; many of which have further been given a place to
revise and improve in accordance to reconcile with the dynamic nature of the
society and changing political agendas. By the same token, scholars engaged in
communication as a field view the parameters of communication theory
differently. Communication theory is referred to the branch of knowledge in
which a piece of message or information is transmitted that is associated to a
set of principles, procedures and techniques in the light of communication
process. In his article Communication
Theory as a Field, Robert T. Craig indicates “all communication theories
are mutually relevant when addressed to a practical life world in which
communication is already a richly meaningful term.” (Craig, 1999). As academic
courses on communication study are integrated in educational institutions, it
is inevitable that the theories of communication are significant to help
fortify the understanding regarding the particular study.

to the aspects that any theory follows, communication theory assimilates the
components of definition, explanation, prediction and control therefore,
serving four crucial functions. This theory explores the meaning which gives an
elementary background, connotations in addition to the meaning, implications of
the theory built in the communication world and the selection of mechanism to
make decisions about ways to manage and regulate the communication process.
Furthermore, the theory accounts for four decisive approaches to communication
namely communication as transmission (asymmetrical flow of communication from
one point to another through a medium), communication as ritual (to acquire a
sense of belongingness and recognition), communication as publicity
(advertising/branding) and communication as reception (two-way communication
demanding receivers’ active feedback). Communication theory has long been a
topic of discussion on whether it is successful to congregate the designation
of modern discipline which is rich and refined both in theory as well as in




of Communication Theories from Western Perspectives:

the theorization of communication was largely enforced by the western thought,
culture and practices, the supremacy of comprehending communication theory from
the west was indeed likely to be seen being attributed to academic courses.
This happened to be merely a whopping exception as a number of communication
theorists had their roots to the west when theorizing communication was on the
verge of early stages of development and breaking out of the shells. Those
theories that accounted to the field of communication were destined to show
relevancy and consistency not beyond the premises of western perspectives.
Gradually, the budding theorization of communication became more or less
widespread and was intertwined with the western academia. Meanwhile, scholars
formulating new theories who were actively engaged in the communication field
were surging. It was certain that the communication theories were not only
well-contemplated but also, saw approximate applicability in functioning the
daily lives. The cultural practices, lifestyle, communication history, way of
approaching cognitive thinking/understanding, patterns of the society and many
more result in scholars’ proficiency in developing rigorous set of perspectives
to theorize communication so it would not be appropriate enough to interrelate
with broader horizons and generalize the communication process universally.

fact that trends such as westernization being widespread which was even
ensuring its influence on non-western countries including the eastern societies
took a grip. Communication theories from western perspectives also witnessed
spaces in the eastern curriculum and found ways to place it within. Having said
that, Asian scholars were as well progressing in number but their concern
accounting communication from eastern tradition of thoughts was shifting
towards the western notion. It was apparent that the idea of western discursive
paradigm was being heavily enforced in non-western societies and communication
scholars from the east were slacking off in giving recognition to their own
native perspective of communication. Moreover, the belief that “west is the
best” was thriving in the run and greatly affecting the individuals’ point of




Gradual Emergence of Communication
Theories from Eastern Perspective:

non-westerners had three selections imposed before facilitating the western
theories into the communication or corresponding curricula. Either they could
have designed their own perspectives and adhere to the study or they could have
projected the theories drawn from the west. The third option was to transform
the western concepts in such a way that both indigenous and western
perspectives could be blended so that the idea of indigenization would be
enforced. The term “indigenization” can further be referred to transfiguring
the western theories in order to conjugate with other cultures and mixing of
both indigenous and western paradigm.

long as five decades back, communication as a theory and practice first found
its way in context of non-western religion and philosophy. Robert Tarbell
Oliver first attempted to explore communication from Hindu perspective during
modern times. In 1971, he indicated the distinctive features of Indian, western
and Chinese rhetoric reasoning for philosophical understanding of communication
and identifying oneness and solidarity as the foundations of rhetoric and
communication in Asia. Scholars began theorizing communication from Hindu
perspective in early 1980s. J.S. Yadava in 1980 argued that Sadharanikaran is
the concept which according to Hindu perspective implies to what communication
is today. Likewise, I.P. Tewari in the same year claimed Sadharanikaran as the
Indian theory of communication. Dissanayake on Bhartrihari’s Vakyapadiya stated
that his work “has almost a contemporary ring to it and a refreshing relevance
to modern communication studies.” A compilation of works from Jain and
Matukumalli (1996), Kirkwood (1987, 1989, 1990 and 1997) were drawn on Hindu
perspective based on classical Sanskrit text to understand unusual nature of
silence conceived in Hinduism. Nonetheless, such earlier works did not
emphasize on any six mainstream Vedic school of Hindu philosophy i.e. Sankhya,
Yoga, Nyaya, Vaisheshika, Mimamsa and Vedanta/Uttara Mimamsa.





Comprehensive Analysis of
Communication Theory from Eastern and Western Perspective:

deliberate evolution of theories of communication from Hindu, Buddhist, Islam,
Confucius and other Asia-centric/non-western perspectives, communication models
and theories have been formulating such as Sadharanikaran Model of
Communication, Bhatta-Mimamsa Model of Communication and so on. This paper
under the sub-heading of comprehensive analysis of communication theory will
emphasize on the association of Sadharanikaran Model of Communication driven by
the philosophy of Hindu tradition with Aristotle’s Model of Communication
having originated in the West.

Model of Communication (abbreviated as SMC) was introduced and proposed in 2003
A.D. and has been subsequently revised since then. This model depicts the
representation of communication process in terms of Hindu perspective. Along
with that, the model is believed to be one of the indispensible transfiguration
and landmark in understanding communication theory. The word “sadharanikaran”
has its roots in composition of Mimamsa and Vedanta’s view obtained from
Bharata Muni’s Natyashastra and Bhartriharis’ Vakyapadiya. The model is
directed towards a sense of commonness, mutual understanding and state of
orientation. This is a systematic, non-linear and scientific model of
communication approach constituting following nine elements:

Sahridaya: preshaka(sender) and
prapaka(receiver) as communicating parties

Bhava: emotions/mood and rasa:

Abhivyanjana: expression

Sandesha: message or information

Sarani: channel or medium

Rasaswadana: receiving, decoding, interpreting
and finally attaining rasa

Dosha: noises or barriers

Sandarbha: context

Pratikriya: feedback



(physical or mundane), adhidaivika (mental), adhyatmika (spiritual) being the three
dimensions of life in regard to Hindu perspective, the ultimate goal of SMC is
to achieve Sahridaya. In addition, this model draws an attention towards what
Hinduism believes as Purushartha Chatustaya namely artha (material wealth),
kama, dharma and moksha (liberation).

contrary to Sadharanikaran Model of Communication, Greek Philosopher Aristotle
developed a communication model termed as “Aristotle’s Model of Communication”
which is in overall reference to the concept of rhetoric and theorizing
communication from the western thought. Aristotle’s accumulative ideas are
recorded on his book Rhetoric and comprises of five crucial elements that

The speaker

The speech

The occasion

The audience

The effect

motive of this communication model is to influence the decision of audience and
persuade their thoughts. It is more inclined towards public speaking rather
than inter-personal communication and discusses on improbability,
irrationality, harmful, contradictory and variance as being five categories of
criticism so as to avoid public feedback.

is vividly apparent that Sadharanikaran Model of Communication is directed
towards democratic societies thereby increased participation of sender and
receiver and also alters the role simultaneously in order to achieve intensive
feedback. Nevertheless, Aristotle’s Model of Communication doesn’t demand for
audience response as the sole objective is to accomplish the art of persuasive
speech which results in one-way (linear) flow of communication. Unlike
Aristotle’s, SMC accounts for dosha (barrier or noise) and highlights on the
sandarbha (context) as to whether or not the receiver interpreted and decoded

of the underlying distinctions is that the western philosophy of communication
considers every aspect of the process to be divergent whereas the eastern
traditions back up social relationships and inter-personal interaction being
the vital foundation of any communication process. Apart from communication
theories in reference to western discourse being individualist, Dissanayake
(1988) indicated that western theories are “functionalist, mechanistic,
positivist and it regards communication as an external event, individuals as
discreet and separate, and each part of the sendermessage-receiver process as
different.” (Adhikary, 2008, v.2) In fact, communication and culturally rich
civilization in theory as well as in practice are inter-connected in Hindu



















to certain recent trends in communication such as paradigm shift,
de-westernization, Asia-centrism and many more, theorization of communication
from multicultural and multidisciplinary aspects has been prioritized to a
great extent. In order to achieve the theme of cultural identity consciousness,
it is significant to impart communication theories from western as well as
eastern perspective such that the native individuals belonging to eastern
societies will no longer require chasing after the philosophical understanding
of western communication.

undergoing a close observation in the contemporary world, communication from
several perspectives need to be inter-linked in order to understand the core
aspect of communication theory from different dimensions. It is likely that
communication will be enriched and profound if the theories are to be studied
in the light of cultural and philosophical traditions. To infer, the synopsis
of the paper under Communication Theory: Eastern and Western Perspectives can
be better comprehended with Dissanayake’s (2003) statement suggesting, “No
civilization is possible without a vigorous system of communication.” With the
prevalence of cultural variation, the doctrine of communication theory varies
and so does the approaches to view the process. Therefore, theoretical
investigations must be conducted in communication field by western and
non-western scholars thereby enforcing control mechanism towards eastern and
western perspectives. That way, a broader spectrum of communication process can
be studied and practiced acknowledging cultural disparities across the world.


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