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Lies That Bind : Chinese Truth, Other Truths

PDF This provocative book explores the ideology of truth and deception in China, offering a nuanced perspective on social interaction in different cultural settings. Drawing on decades of fieldwork in China, Susan D. Blum examines rules, expectations, and beliefs regarding lying and honesty. She argues that public lying is evaluated within Chinese society by culturally specific moral values. Chinese, for example, might emphasize the consequences of speech, Americans the absolute truthfulness. But many Americans also excel in manipulation of language, yet find a simultaneous moral absolutism opposed to lying in any form. Blum considers Japanese and Jewish traditions as well, which similarly struggle to control the boundaries of honesty.

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