In the theory of a rhetorical approach, three primary ways are identified in order to achieve the goals of interpersonal rhetoric. They are rhetorical reflector, rhetorically sensitive person and Nobel self. In this paper, the applicability of these three ways will be discussed since their applicability is different in Hong Kong culture. First, the way that works best in Hong Kong culture is the Nobel self, who is unwilling to change for others. This theory works best because of the way that parents taking care of their children.
The average number of children in each family in Hong Kong has decreased compared to the families in the past, which have nearly doubled the average numbers of children in each family, so parents can pay more attention on each child. Also, parents tend to build up a positive parental relationship with their children by satisfying most of the wants of the children and putting their children at the first priority. Since the children are used to be the center of their parents, they become self-centered, that is they put their own feelings in the first priority, as a result, their abilities to change for others are reduced.
The example to show that Nobel self works best in Hong Kong is a group of teenagers in Hong Kong who the society described them as “a group of people having the illusion of being a princess or a prince. ” These teenagers believe that they should be treated as princesses or princes that they don’t have to do anything or to bear any responsibility. The main cause of this group is stated above. These teenagers are unwilling to change for others especially their relational partners because they think that everyone will change for them just like their families do. This type of teenagers shows that the Nobel self work best in Hong Kong.
The part of the theories that does not work in Hong Kong is the rhetorical reflector, who is willing to change to please their partners. In Hong Kong, people are trained to possess a critical thinking skill, which means they should have their own judgment towards an issue, instead of influencing by others, for example, in the relationship of boss and employees, if the boss ask his employee to do illegal work, the employee will judge the situation using his value of right or wrong to decide doing it or not. He will not sacrifice themselves by changing their value and doing the work in order to lease the boss. This critical thinking skill enables the people in Hong Kong to think independently, so that their values and thoughts will be influenced by others. They are not willing to change to please their partners, but if there are strong evidences or supporting materials, they will change. Therefore, the rhetorical reflector theory does not work in Hong Kong. Finally, rhetorically sensitive person works in modified way in Hong Kong. The theory is applicable in the situation that there is a difference in power, such as the teacher and student relationship, which the teacher is having a higher power.
The student who has lower power will be rhetorical sensitive, for example, the student believes that he has done nothing wrong for being late to school, but when explaining to the teacher, he will change his discourse by not stating his judgment towards the issue. Instead, he will give excuses to blame it on other things. The hidden value of the excuses is that the student has done nothing wrong in this issue. However, if there is no difference in the power in the relationship, such as siblings, the student will not change his discourse. He will express his value directly to his siblings.
This approach is the application of Nobel self. Since the student know that they have equal power in the relationship, that means they have equal control over the definition of the relationship, so the first priority, which is his own feeling, will come first. He is unwilling to change for others once there is no difference in power in the relationship. Hong Kong culture is a complex, so the applicability of the three primary ways in the rhetorical approach is different in Hong Kong culture even though they are developed from the same theory.
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