ERIC Number: ED216420
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Comparative Chronemics and Diplomacy: American and Iranian Perspectives on Time.
Merriam, Allen H.
Arguing that assumptions and behaviors related to time are culturally determined, this paper proposes that diplomats must learn to pay more attention to comparative chronemics--the study of time across cultures. The paper points out that differences in the perception of time was a key element in the conflict between Iran and the United States in which 50 Americans were taken hostage. It describes chronemic behavior in the United States as linear, formal, and precise--reflecting a cultural emphasis on newness, progress, and efficiency--and in Iran as marked by temporality and interpretable in terms of a complex mixture of Persian lifestyles, foreign interference in Iranian history, Islamic "instantaneism," and Shi'ite mysticism. The paper concludes that a greater sensitivity to chronemic orientations across cultures is essential for effective international diplomacy. (FL)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Iran; United States
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southern Speech Communication Association (Hot Springs, AR, April 6-9, 1982).