On May 12, 2008, a high school teacher by the name of Fan Meizhong abandoned his students in the middle of a horrific earthquake to, as he later said, preserve his own life. The worldwide outcry against this teacher seemed fairly universal, but a word analysis of online media concerning this event shows that the reasons various cultures all came to this same conclusion differed greatly. The analysis shows that China’s media decried Fan Meizhong for his failing to live up to Confucian ideals of what a teacher should be, and American and European media faulted him for not acting according to proper individual standards. Such differences, although ultimately coming to the same conclusion, show key cultural differences that can help us communicate more effectively between various groups.
|Keywords:||Teacher, Coward, Word Analysis, Media, Culture, Earthquake, Fan Meizhong, China Media, U.S. Media|
Assistant Professor, Communication, Dordt College, Sioux Center, IA, USA
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