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JOHN CABOT UNIVERSITY

COURSE CODE: "CMS 280-1"
COURSE NAME: "Intercultural Communications"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Spring 2019
SYLLABUS

INSTRUCTOR: Benjamin Lee Scribner
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: MW 11:30-12:45 PM
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
Intercultural Communication in Contexts. 5th ed.Martin, Judith N., Nakayama, Thomas K.McGraw-Hill HumanitiesISBN-10: 9780073385129 This is a recommended supplementary textbook. NOT REQUIRED
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.30%
Final ExamThis will be a combination of short answer and short essay questions based on lectures, readings and discussions.30%
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 penalty to your final grade.  Three absences = 5% penalty.  Four absences = 10%,  etc.  If you are absent due to health reasons or family emergency, please let me know so that I can accommodate you.  Absences will not be excused due to non-emergency travel or family visits.  Please refer to the university catalog for the complete attendance and absence policy.


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

Intensity factors of intercultural experience

Recommended:

Ch.1 from: Intercultural Communication in Contexts.

WK 1B

 

Culture Shock

Social Scripts

 

1.     Meng, Hongdang.  “Social Script Theory and Cross-Cultural Communication.”

2.     Peng, Mei. “A Contrastive Study of Gift-Giving Between Chinese and Germans.”

WK2A

 

Cultural Typologies: Collectivist vs. Individualist Cultures

Intercultural Competence

Samovar et. al. Ch. 6 , “Cultural Values, Guidelines for Behavior” , pp. 172-184

WK 2B

 

Stereotypes and Generalizations

Kohls “American Values”

 

1.     Kohls, Values Americans Live By (recommended, not required)

2.     Zatsepina, Olga; Rodriguez, Julio. “American Values through Russian Eyes.”

WK3A

 

Continue: Kohls “American Values”,

 

 

1.     Bassetti, Pierro. “Italicity: Global and Local” (recommended, not required)

2.     R. Lewis. When Cultures Collide.  “Italy” p. 262-268, “Russia” p. 372-380.

 

WK 3B

 

Individualism and Collectivism

 

Auto-Ethnography Assignment handed out, due week 7A

 

 

WK4A

 

Cultural Typologies: E.T. Hall’s High and Low Context Culture

&

Discussion of Yang Liu’s East Meets West

Samovar et. al. Ch. 6 , “Cultural Values, Guidelines for Behavior”

Read: At least the sections on High and Low Context Culture, begin studying whole chapter.

WK4B

 

Marketing in High and Low Context Cultures

 

Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck’s Value Orientations

Samovar et. al. Ch. 6 , “Cultural Values, Guidelines for Behavior”

 

Read: At least section on Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck, continue studying whole chapter.

WK 5A

 

Hofstede’s Value Dimensions

 

Samovar et. al. Ch. 6 , “Cultural Values, Guidelines for Behavior”

Read: At least section on Hofstede, continue studying whole chapter.

WK5B

Hofstede’s Value Dimensions: The Italian Case

Power Distance, Uncertainty Avoidance, and Masculinity

Tavanti, Marco. “The cultural dimensions

of Italian leadership”

 

Wk 6A

High vs. Low Context Italian Values

Start film: Benvenuti al Sud

 

WK 6B

 

Finish & discuss film: Benvenuti al Sud

Other Comparing Cultures examples

Comparing Cultures Assignment handed out: Due in class Week 11A

Samovar et. al. Ch. 6 , “Cultural Values, Guidelines for Behavior”  (study whole chapter for assignment)

WK 7A

 

 

Auto Ethnography discussions and optional presentations

Auto Ethnography Papers due in class (printed please!)

WK7B

 

Nonverbal Communication

Proxemics

Recommended:

Martin and Nakayama. “Ch. 7. Nonverbal codes and cultural space”.  Intercultural Communication in Contexts

WK 8A

 

Review

 

Wk 8B

 

Midterm Exam

 

 

WK 9A

Gender and Modernization: Traditional, Modern and Postmodern cultural systems

Recommended:

Inglehart and Baker, “Modernization, Cultural Change and the Persistence of Traditional Values.”



WK 9B

Communication and Culture: Representation

 

Hall, Stewart. Hall, Stuart, Representation & The Media”Lecture Transcript, Media Education Foundation, 1997.

 

WK

10A

Generalizations, Stereotypes, and Prejudice

Montali, Riva, Frigerio and Mele “The representation of migrants in the Italian press,” Journal of Language and Politics 12:2. pp. 226-250. (2013).

Recommended: Martin and Nakayama. “Ch. 12. Striving for Engaged And Effective Intercultural Communication”, Intercultural Communication in Contexts

 

Wk 10B

If weather permits – Walk in Rome’s Jewish Ghetto OR Film: 18 IUS Soli

Recommended: “Ch. 5., Identity and Intercultural Communication,” in Martin and Nakayama. Intercultural Communication in Contexts  

WK 11A

Comparing Cultures papers discussion

 

COMPARING CULTURES ASSIGNMENT DUE

 11B

Social In/Exclusion in Europe

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

12A

 

The Clash of Civilizations or the Clash of Ignorance? “Islam” vs. “The West”

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

Recommended: Samuel Huntington, "The Clash of Civilizations?," Foreign Affairs, Vol 72, No. 3 (Summer 1993), pp. 22-49

Wk 12B

The Mediterranean Refugee Crisis

 

Recommended: Martin and Nakayama. “Ch. 8. Understanding Intercultural Transitions, Intercultural Communication in Contexts

 

WK 13A

 

Gordon Allport’s “Contact hypothesis”

Film: Promises

Maoz, Ifat. “Does contact work in protracted asymmetrical conflict?” Journal of Peace Research. 48 (1, pp. 115-125.  2011

 

Recommended

Martin and Nakayama. Intercultural Communication”, Intercultural Communication in Contexts . Pages 149-152

WK13B

 

Finish Film: Promises

- discussion

Recommended:

Martin and Nakayama. “Ch. 12. Striving for Engaged And Effective Intercultural Communication”, Intercultural Communication in Contexts

WK 14A

catch up day

 

WK 14B

 

Review for final exam

 

Exam Week

 FINAL EXAM

Date & location will be listed on MyJCU