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COMM311: Intercultural Communication

Unit 2: Adapting to Culture   Communication between members of two cultures frequently requires more than a single interaction.  Business partnerships, social relationships, and organizational affiliations can require a prolonged exposure to other cultures.  In these cases, those who interact with other cultures must move beyond understanding the basics of intercultural communication differences and come to understand how perceptions and culture-oriented behavior differences complicate the ability to communicate.

This unit will help you understand how the perception-making process is challenged when cultural differences exist.  The unit also will introduce the concept of culture shock and how it must be managed so that one can communicate with competence in another culture.

Unit 2 Time Advisory
This unit should take approximately 28.75 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 2.1: 4 hours

☐    Lecture: 2 hours

☐    Reading: 2 hours

☐    Subunit 2.2: 12 hours

☐    Subunit 2.3: 3.75 hours

☐    Subunit 2.4: 4 hours

☐    Subunit 2.5: 5 hours

Unit2 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to: - Identify barriers to competent communication among members of different cultures. - Recognize signs of stereotyping, and describe the effect it may have on communication competence. - Identify common cultural biases and perceptions, and evaluate his or her own cultural biases. - Determine how to improve his or her perception-making abilities. 

2.1 Adapting to Culture   - Lecture: YouTube: University of California, Davis Mind Institute: Dr. Eun Mi Cho and Dr. Hendry Ton’s “Lost in Translation: Cross Cultural Communication Strategies” Link: YouTube: University of California, Davis Mind Institute: Dr. Eun Mi Cho and Dr. Hendry Ton’s “Lost in Translation: Cross Cultural Communication Strategies” (YouTube)

 Instructions: Please click on the link above and watch this
lecture, which, though it was was directed toward those in the
medical profession, offers fundamental insights that will be useful
in this course.  The video references the groundbreaking work of Dr.
Hall and Dr. Tannen in intercultural communication.  Pay particular
attention to the 9- and 37- minute marks for key insights on
fundamental patterns of cultural differences and intercultural
communication patterns.  

 Watching this lecture and pausing to take notes should take
approximately 2 hours.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: BioMed Central: Shapiro, Lie, Gutierrez, and Zhuang’s “That Never Would Occur to Me: A Qualitative Study of Medical Students’ Views of a Cultural Competence Curriculum” Link: BioMed Central: Shapiro, Lie, Gutierrez, and Zhuang’s “That Never Would Occur to Me: A Qualitative Study of Medical Students’ Views of a Cultural Competence Curriculum” (HTML)

    Instructions: Please click on the link above and select the “PDF” link under “Full Text” to download the article.  Read the article, which identifies what can happen with the implementation of a training program for intercultural communication and awareness.  The article discusses the successes and limitations of such a program in a medical setting.

    Reading this article should take approximately 2 hours.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

2.2 Role of Culture in Intercultural Communication   - Reading: Leading with Cultural Intelligence: “Chapter 2: Understanding Culture” Link: Leading with Cultural Intelligence: “Chapter 2: Understanding Culture” (PDF)

 Instructions: Please click on the link above and read chapter 2 in
its entirety, which provides training to a wide range of
organizations in the area of leadership development.  This
organization was founded to provide consulting and training services
in areas of intercultural communication and leadership.  

 Reading this chapter should take approximately 3 hours and 30
minutes.  

 Terms of Use: The text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a
[CreativeCommons-Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/) without
attribution as requested by the work's original creator or licensee.
  • Reading: Wikibooks: Laura K. Hahn, Lance Lippert, and Scott T. Paynton’s Survey of Communication Study: “Chapter 12: Intercultural Communication” Link: Wikibooks: Laura K. Hahn, Lance Lippert, and Scott T. Paynton’s Survey of Communication Study: “Chapter 12: Intercultural Communication” (HTML)

    Instructions: Please click on the link above and read chapter 12 for a thorough introduction to the basic considerations in understanding the role of culture in our personal relationships.  Before understanding how one operates within his or her own culture, and how that culture interacts with our culture, one must understand how culture works in his or her own worldview.  As you read through this chapter, please try to continually reflect on your own beliefs, experiences, and interactions with others.

    Reading this chapter should take approximately 3 hours and 30 minutes.

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  • Reading: Europe’s Journal of Psychology: Simonas Audickas, Charles Davis, and Magda Szczepenska’s “Effects of Group Cultural Differences on Task Performance and Socialization Behaviors” Link: Europes Journal of Psychology: Simonas Audickas, Charles Davis, and Magda Szczepenska’s “Effects of Group Cultural Differences on Task Performance and Socialization Behaviors” (HTML)

    Instructions:  Please click on the link above and read this article.  This study harkens back to Hofstede’s theory of cultural dimensions, particularly looking at how individualism/collectivism and homogeneity/heterogeneity affect group dynamics in completing a task.

    Reading this article should take approximately 3 hours.

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2.3 Culture Shock   2.3.1 Culture Shock Defined   - Lecture: YouTube: Norfolk State University: William Hart’s “Culture Shock” Link: YouTube: Norfolk State University: William Hart’s “Culture Shock” (YouTube)

 Instructions: Please click on the link above and watch this lecture
from Professor William Hart’s intercultural communication course. 
The video features information and interviews about culture shock.  

 Watching this video and pausing to take notes should take
approximately 30 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

2.3.2 Symptoms and Stages   - Reading: Bukisa: “Culture Shock and Its Stages” Link: Bukisa: “Culture Shock and Its Stages” (HTML)

 Instructions: Please click on the link above and read this brief
article, which offers a clear, concise definition and description of
culture shock.  Be sure to focus on the stages of the process.  

 Reading this article should take approximately 15 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: New Jersey Institute of Technology Graduate Student Association: “Adapting to the Culture: Culture Shock” Link: New Jersey Institute of Technology Graduate Student Association: “Adapting to the Culture: Culture Shock” (HTML)

    Instructions: Please click on the link above and read this article, which goes a bit further in describing culture shock and is interesting from the point of view of those traveling to the United States.  If you were born in the United States, try to read this article from the perspective of an international visitor.

    Reading this article should take approximately 3 hours.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: California State University, East Bay: Stephen H. Miller and Nada El-Aidi’s “Culture Shock: Causes and Symptoms” Link: California State University, East Bay: Stephen H. Miller and Nada El-Aidi’s “Culture Shock: Causes and Symptoms” (PDF)

    Instructions: Please click on the link above, select “Download This PDF File”, and download and read this article.  In it, faculty members from California State University address the issue of culture shock.  They do an excellent job of explaining the concept, laying the foundation for their study, and then explaining the results.  Following the results, ask yourself if you think their findings are valid.

    Reading this article should take approximately 4 hours.

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2.4 Unit 2 Discussion   - Activity: The Saylor Foundation’s “COMM311 Course Discussion Board” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “COMM311 Course Discussion Board”

 Instructions: After reviewing the unit materials, please post and
respond to the following topics on the course discussion board. 
Feel free to start your own related posts and respond to other
students’ posts.  

 1. What is the closest experience you have had that could be
considered culture shock?  Describe the circumstances and what
expectations you had to adjust or what steps you took for
acculturation.  
 2. Describe a travel experience where you had difficulty in
understanding a different culture.  If you have not had such a
travel experience, consider a place that you wish to travel to and
write about what difficulties you may have in communicating with
this different culture.  
 3. What is your assessment of Stephen H. Miller and Nada El-Aidi’s
“Culture Shock: Causes and Symptoms?”  Did the authors make clear
their perception of acculturation?  Explain how the authors did so
or what they could have added to make this idea clearer.  

 You should dedicate approximately 5 hours to posting and responding
on the discussion board.