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COMM311: Intercultural Communication

Unit 3: Intercultural Relationships   Technology and mobility are responsible for increased interactions among people from all parts of the world, allowing for the development of relationships in amazing and varied ways.  It is true that two individuals who share values and cultural characteristics may be more inclined to develop a relationship with one another than, say, two individuals who hail from two very distinct cultures with two very distinct belief sets.  However, the number of relationships among members of different cultures (be it business or interpersonal) continues to rise, because it has become easier to access and communicate with others around the world due to advances in technology.  The interrelatedness of the twenty-first century also brings members of different cultures together in the same space in a manner that has not been seen before.  Therefore, the development and maintenance of relationships among members of different cultures are possibly more important and more prevalent than at any other time in our history.

This unit will address some of the considerations that come into play in the development of intercultural relationships.

Unit 3 Time Advisory
This unit should take approximately 19 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 3.1: 4.75 hours

☐    Readings: 4.5 hours

☐    Web Media: 0.25 hours

☐    Subunit 3.2: 4 hours

☐    Subunit 3.3: 5.25 hours

☐    Readings: 3.25 hours

☐    Lectures: 0.5 hours

☐    Web Media: 1.5 hours

☐    Subunit 3.4: 5 hours

Unit3 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to: - Explain the social dimensions in intercultural friendships. - Explain the social dimensions in intercultural marriages. - Explain the social dimensions in business relations.

3.1 Intercultural Relationships   - Reading: University of Kansas: The Community Toolbox: Marya Axner’s “Building Relationships with People from Different Cultures” Link: University of Kansas: The Community Toolbox: Marya Axner’s “Building Relationships with People from Different Cultures” (HTML)

 Instructions:  Please click on the link above and read this article
about intercultural relationships.  

 Reading this article should take approximately 1 hour.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Web Media: The Open University: María Fernández-Toro’s “The Language of Sharing” (HTML and Flash) Link: The Open University: María Fernández-Toro’s “The Language of Sharing” (HTML and Flash)

    Instructions: Please click on the link above, read the introductory text, and watch the accompanying six videos.  These videos provide excellent examples of Dr. Fernández-Toro’s guidance on establishing and maintaining intercultural relationships.

    Reading the introductory text and watching these videos should take approximately 20 minutes.

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

  • Reading: Universidad Nacional de Colombia: Costalas Georgia’s “Intercultural Communication between Colombian and American Teachers in Columbian Institutions” Link: Universidad Nacional de Colombia: Costalas Georgia’s “Intercultural Communication between Colombian and American Teachers in Columbian Institutions” (PDF)

    Instructions:  Please click on the link above and read this article by Georgia Costalas, Associate Director of Global Education at Wilkes University.  To access the text, click on the “PDF” link after “Full Text” to download the article.  This article presents findings about cultural miscommunications in observing English-speaking and Columbian teachers in Columbian school systems.

    Reading this article should take approximately 2 hours.

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

  • Reading: The Open Psychology Journal: Camilla Pagani’s “Violence in Cross-Cultural Relations as the Outcome of Specific Cognitive and Emotional Processes” (PDF) Link: The Open Psychology Journal: Camilla Pagani’s “Violence in Cross-Cultural Relations as the Outcome of Specific Cognitive and Emotional Processes” (PDF)

    Instructions: Please click on the link above, then select “Download PDF” for the article titled “Violence in Cross-Cultural Relations as the Outcome of Specific Cognitive and Emotional Processes,” and read the entire article.  This research article explores violence, including psychological violence, in cross-cultural relations as well as addresses some suggestions on how to prevent this violence.

    Studying this reading should take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.

    Terms of Use: This article is published in the Open Psychology Journal with a Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution-Non-Commercial License.  It is attributed to the Open Psychology Journal and Camilla Pagani.

3.2 Intercultural Friendships   - Reading: Antonio A. Casilli’s BodySpaceSociety: “Friendship Changes, but ‘Friending’ Stays the Same across Cultures” and Cultural Science: Hui-Jung Chang’s “Social Networking Friendships: A Cross-Cultural of Network Structure between MySpace and Wretch” Link: Antonio A. Casilli’s BodySpaceSociety: “Friendship Changes, but ‘Friending’ Stays the Same across Cultures” (HTML) and Cultural Science: Hui-Jung Chang’s “Social Networking Friendships: A Cross-Cultural of Network Structure between MySpace and Wretch” (PDF)

 Instructions: Please click on the first link and read the blog
entry.  Then, click on the second link and select the “PDF” link to
download the report.  Read the entire report, which discusses the
findings on the topic of developing friendships among people with
different cultural backgrounds.  How do the results from these two
social networking sites compare to your experiences with similar
sites?  

 Reading these articles should take approximately 2 hours and 30
minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: Marmara University, Istanbul: Fahri Yetim’s “Cultural Aspects of Group Support Systems” Link: Marmara University, Istanbul: Fahri Yetim’s “Cultural Aspects of Group Support Systems” (PDF)

    Instructions:  Please click on the link above and read this article by Fahri Yetim of Marmara University in Istanbul.  The article deals with the influence of different cultures on decision-making within groups of people.

    Reading this article should take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.

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

3.3 Intercultural Dating/Marriages   - Reading: Wikipedia’s “Interracial Marriage” Link: Wikipedia’s “Interracial Marriage” (HTML)

 Instructions: Please click on the link above and read this
Wikipedia article for an overview on interracial marriage.  

 Reading this article should take approximately 3 hours.  

 Terms of Use:  Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Web Media: YouTube: University of Missouri – Kansas City Counseling Center and Department of Communication Studies: “UMKC Students in Intercultural Relationships” Link: YouTube: University of Missouri – Kansas City Counseling Center and Department of Communication Studies: “UMKC Students in Intercultural Relationships” (YouTube)

    Instructions: Please click on the link above and watch this video, which features dating couples who were interviewed about their intercultural relationships, how those relationships began, and what the couples have learned about the challenges or differences in intercultural relationships.

    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.

  • Web Media: YouTube: Pasifika Broadcasting’s “The Good and Bad of Cross Cultural Marriages: Part 1” and “Part 2” Link: YouTube: Pasifika Broadcasting’s “The Good and Bad of Cross Cultural Marriages: Part 1” (YouTube) and “Part 2” (YouTube)

    Instructions: The two videos are an interview of a married couple dealing with an intercultural marriage.  Try to use what you have learned in previous units to understand where the man and woman in this interview are coming from culturally.  Do you agree or disagree with the insights being provided?  Do you think your family and/or friends would agree with what is being said in this interview?

    Watching these videos, pausing to take notes, and answering the questions above should take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.

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

  • Reading: Voxxi: “Interracial Marriage in US Hits New High” Link: Voxxi: “Interracial Marriage in US Hits New High” (HTML)

    Instructions: Please click on the link above and read this article about the prevalence of interracial marriages in the United States.  If you are not from the United States, think about the representation of interracial marriages in your own culture.  You may find it interesting to do some research to find out the percentage of interracial marriages within your own culture.

    Reading this article should take approximately 15 minutes.

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

3.4 Unit 3 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. Describe an intercultural friendship that you have observed.  If
you have not directly observed an intercultural friendship in
person, use an example that you have seen on TV, in a movie, in a
play, or in a book you have read.  What did you notice as the
challenges and benefits of this intercultural friendship?  
 2.  Describe an intercultural marriage that you have observed.
 Again, if you have not directly observed an intercultural marriage
in person, refer to an intercultural marriage from a TV show, movie,
play, or book.  What did you notice as the challenges and benefits
of this intercultural marriage?  
 3. What did you think of the insights offered by the UMKC students
from the lecture in subunit 3.3?  

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