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Academic Journal of Humanities & Social Sciences, 2021, 4(7); doi: 10.25236/AJHSS.2021.040710.

A Study of Intercultural Communication Barriers between China and the United States: The Case of American Media Reports on China


Yilin Lai

Corresponding Author:
Yilin Lai

College of Journalism and Communication, Jinan University, Guangzhou, 510110, China


For many years, China and some Western countries have been in constant conflict, especially with the United States, which mainly reflected in the news reports by the American media on China. In the final analysis, these conflicts stem from the intercultural communication barriers between China and the United States. Based on the framework of intercultural communication barriers proposed by Martin and Nakayama (2014), this paper analyzes the intercultural communication barriers reflected in American media coverage on China and their impacts by using qualitative research methods and theories of individualism and collectivism. The study found that there are four types of intercultural communication barriers in the American media coverage on China. In terms of ethnocentrism, American media news reports mostly criticize China and praise their own country. In terms of stereotypes, most of the American media news reports are very aggressive in language, and there is no reliable evidence to support the argument. In terms of prejudice, American news media usually do not have a thorough understanding of specific groups in China, and question the professionalism or authenticity of those groups based on their own feelings. In terms of discrimination, news stories in the U.S. media often use abusive words in headlines or text. Finally, this paper puts forward some suggestions to effectively eliminate these barriers.


Intercultural Communication, Cultural Differences, Individualism and Collectivism

Cite This Paper

Yilin Lai. A Study of Intercultural Communication Barriers between China and the United States: The Case of American Media Reports on China. Academic Journal of Humanities & Social Sciences (2021) Vol. 4, Issue 7: 47-56. https://doi.org/10.25236/AJHSS.2021.040710.


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