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JOHN CABOT UNIVERSITY

COURSE CODE: "CMS 280-1"
COURSE NAME: "Intercultural Communications"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2017
SYLLABUS

INSTRUCTOR: Ben Scribner
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: MW 8:30-9:45 AM
TOTAL NO. OF CONTACT HOURS: 45
CREDITS:
PREREQUISITES:
OFFICE HOURS: by appointment or before or after class

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
An exploration of some of the historical and political conditions that make intercultural communication possible, the barriers that exist to effective intercultural communication, and possible solutions to the problem of intercultural misunderstanding. The course examines examples of differences in communication styles not only between cultures but also within. As a result, issues of race, nation, class, gender, religion, immigration, and sexual orientation will be of significant concern. The course stresses the notion that knowledge of human beings is always knowledge produced from a particular location and for a particular purpose. As a result it encourages students to think carefully about the discipline of Intercultural Communication—its conditions of possibility, its assumptions, and its blind spots—as well the need to be mindful of the limitations and interests of our positioning as investigating subjects.
SUMMARY OF COURSE CONTENT:

 

This course will provide students with the opportunity to investigate how culture influences the communication process. Through lectures, screenings, written assignments, and class discussion, we will explore some of the historical and political conditions that make intercultural communication possible, the barriers that exist to effective intercultural communication, and possible solutions to the problem of intercultural misunderstanding. We will examine examples of differences in communication styles not only between cultures but also within. As a result, issues of race, nation, class, gender, religion, immigration, and sexual orientation will be of significant concern.
LEARNING OUTCOMES:

1. Analyze the complexity of communication in an intercultural communication exchange

2. Consider popular culture as forms of global culture and intercultural contact

3. Examine how power, privilege, and difference shape intercultural exchange

4. Describe the historical conditions that make intercultural communication possible

5. Explore the role identity plays in intercultural communication

6. Recognize the influence of our own cultural situation upon the sending and interpreting of messages

7. Theorize globalization and its impact on intercultural communication

8. Consider how new information technologies impact intercultural communication

9. Examine how issues of genre inform attempts at intercultural communication

TEXTBOOK:
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
Communication Between Cultures (8th edition)Samovar, Porter, McDaniel & RoyWadsworth978-1-133-49216-0  
REQUIRED RESERVED READING:
NONE

RECOMMENDED RESERVED READING:
NONE
GRADING POLICY
-ASSESSMENT METHODS:
AssignmentGuidelinesWeight
Auto-ethnographyStudents will be required to write a short autoethnography—a kind of autobiographical field report. Students will self-assess their own strategies for negotiating different cultures.15%
Midterm ExamThis will be a combination of short answer and short essay questions based on lectures, readings and discussions.25%
Final ExamThis will be a combination of short answer and short essay questions based on lectures, readings and discussions.25%
Class ParticipationClassroom participation is encouraged and emphasized. Students are required to come to class having completed the assigned readings.10%
Comparing Cultures PaperThe 5 page research paper will analyze media text (book, film, TV show, etc.) to explore different aspects of intercultural communication (ex. verbal, non-verbal) by comparing and contrasting at least two views/theories about the topic. Topic to be approved by instructor.25%

-ASSESSMENT CRITERIA:
AWork of this quality directly addresses the question or problem raised and provides a coherent argument displaying an extensive knowledge of relevant information or content. This type of work demonstrates the ability to critically evaluate concepts and theory and has an element of novelty and originality. There is clear evidence of a significant amount of reading beyond that required for the cours
BThis is highly competent level of performance and directly addresses the question or problem raised.There is a demonstration of some ability to critically evaluatetheory and concepts and relate them to practice. Discussions reflect the student’s own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture andreference material. The work does not suffer from any major errors or omissions and provides evidence of reading beyond the required assignments.
CThis is an acceptable level of performance and provides answers that are clear but limited, reflecting the information offered in the lectures and reference readings.
DThis level of performances demonstrates that the student lacks a coherent grasp of the material.Important information is omitted and irrelevant points included.In effect, the student has barely done enough to persuade the instructor that s/he should not fail.
FThis work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised in the question. Most of the material in the answer is irrelevant.

-ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS:
Attendance Requirements:Attendance and participation are a crucial part of the class. More than two unexcused absences will result in an automatic drop of a letter grade.



Please refer to the university catalog for the attendance and absence policy.

ACADEMIC HONESTY
As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.
STUDENTS WITH LEARNING OR OTHER DISABILITIES
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.

SCHEDULE

Session

Session Focus

Reading Assignment

WK1A

Introduction to course

Culture Shock

 Textbook: Chapter 1

WK 1B

 

What is intercultural communication?

Intercultural Competence

Textbook: Chapter 1

Auto-Ethnography Assignment handed out

Recommended reading: “Assessing Intercultural Competence” in New Directions For Institutional Research, no. 149, Spring 2011. Wiley.

WK2A

 

Intro to Cultural Typologies

Textbook: Chapter 6, pp. 172-184

WK 2B

 

Simplified or stereotyping?  Guides to culture for business

“American Values” vs. the “Other” (Arab, Italian, etc.)

 

Lewis, When Cultures Collide pp. 400-407 (on Arab countries), pp. 414-415 (on Morocco), pp. 262-268 (on Italy), pp. 179-186 (on Americans).

WK3A

 

“US Values” vs. the “Other” (Arab, Italian, etc.)

Lewis, When Cultures Collide (same reading as Wk 2B)

WK 3B

 

Cultural Typologies: Collectivist vs. Individualist Cultures

A discussion of Yang Liu’s East Meets West,

Textbook: Chapter 3 pp. 79-80

WK4A

 

Cultural Typologies: Hall, Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck

Textbook: Chapter 6

WK4B

 

Cultural Typologies: Hall, Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck

 Samovar, Porter, McDaniel and Roy, Chapter 6

WK4C Friday Sept 22nd 2017

MAKE UP DAY FOR NOV 1st

Topic TBA

WK 5A

 

Cultural Typologies: Hofstede’s Value Dimensions

Engle, Michael. “Culture in the Cockpit – CRM in a Multicultural World”, Journal of Air Transportation World Wide. Vol. 5 No. 1. 2000.

WK5B

Hofstede’s Value Dimensions (continued)

 

Wk 6A

Auto Ethnography discussions

Auto Ethnography Papers due in class

WK 6B

 

Intergenerational value “clashes”

Modernization and the Family: Traditional, Modern and Postmodern value systems

Textbook: Chapter 3 pp 63-72 AND

Inglehart and Baker, “Modernization, Cultural Change, and the Persistence of Traditional Values.” American Sociological Review, 2000, Vol. 65 (February: 19-51).

WK 7A

 

Modernization and the Family: Traditional, Modern and Postmodern value systems (continued)

 

WK7B

 

Review

WK 8A

 

Midterm Exam

WK 8B

Generalizations, Stereotypes, and Prejudice

Virgo, Sabrina. “The Criminalization of Poverty.” Crossroads Magazine, October, 1991. 

Textbook, Chapter 7, pages 231-242.

Comparing Cultures assignment handed out (due Wk 14A)

WK

9A

Generalizations, Stereotypes, and Prejudice:

The Clash of Civilizations: “Islam” vs. “The West”

Edward Said, "The Clash of Ignorance", The Nation, October 4, 2001.

Samuel Huntington, "The Clash of Civilizations?," Foreign Affairs, Vol 72, No.

 3 (Summer 1993), pp. 22-49

Wk 9B

Toward a Multicultural Europe: Identity and Citizenship

“It's Not Islam That Drives Young Europeans to Jihad, France's Top Terrorism Expert Explains”, Haaretz. June 4th, 2017.

10A

Toward a Multicultural Europe: Identity and Citizenship

Film: 18 Ius Soli

10B

NO CLASS,

Holiday, Wed Nov 1st

 11A

Gordon Allport’s “Contact hypothesis”

Film: Promises

Maoz, Ifat. “Does contact work in protracted asymmetrical conflict? Appraising

20 years of reconciliation-aimed encounters

between Israeli Jews and Palestinians Journal of Peace Research. 48 (1, pp. 115-125.  2011

11B

 

Finish Film: Promises

In class discussion:

de-Othering “The Arab”, “The American”, “The Italian,” “The Russian” etc.

Zaharna, R.F., “An Associative Approach to Intercultural Communication Competence

in the Arab World” in Sage Handbook of Intercultural Communication Competence, 2009.

 

Wk 12A

The Mediterranean Refugee Crisis

Montali, Riva, Frigerio and Mele “The representation of migrants in the

Italian press,”  Journal of Language and Politics 12:2. pp. 226-250. (2013).

WK 12B

 

The three big monotheisms in conflict and peace: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

Textbook, Chapter 5

WK13A

 

The three big monotheisms in conflict and peace: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

Textbook, Chapter 5

WK 13B

Culture, communication and representation

Textbook, Chapter 2.

WK14A

Comparing Cultures Discussion

Comparing cultures papers due in class

WK 14B

Review

 

Exam Week

 FINAL EXAM

Date & location will be listed on MyJCU