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COMM311: Intercultural Communication

Unit 4: Insights into Cultural Communication Practices   Thus far, this course has addressed intercultural communication differences from a broad perspective.  This unit will look at individual cultures and the communication behaviors that operate within those particular populations.  Recognition of these cultural practices can facilitate competent communication on a professional, social, or casual level.  This particular unit focuses mostly on a U.S. worldview, addressing cultures found in the United States.  It is important to remember that members of other cultures have to adapt to living in the United States, which can be a challenging adjustment.  Likewise the United States has a melting pot of cultures, and an Americans may have to adapt to ethnicities and cultures that differ from their own.  As you work through this unit, consider how you might adapt to American culture or how as an American that you might adapt to a culture within the United States that differs from your own.

Unit 4 Time Advisory
This unit should take approximately 28.75 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 4.1: 14.75 hours

☐    Sub-subunit 4.1.1: 4 hours

☐    Sub-subunit 4.1.2: 1 hour

☐    Sub-subunit 4.1.3: 4.25 hours

☐    Sub-subunit 4.1.4: 5.5 hours

☐    Subunit 4.2: 9 hours

☐    Subunit 4.3: 5 hours

Unit4 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to: - Identify differences among different cultural groups. - Identify similarities and differences between communication practices of one culture and those practices of members of other cultures.

4.1 Insights into Cultural Communication Practices   4.1.1 African American   - Reading: edit30: “Oratory – The Obama Style”

Link: edit30: [“Oratory – The Obama
Style”](http://edit30.com/?page_id=1338) (HTML)  

 Instructions: Please click on the link above and read this article,
which articulates the oratorical style of U.S. President Barack
Obama.  The article was written for business communicators.  

 Write down a few paragraphs to the following prompt:  
  

Compare what is written with what you have heard of the president. 
Do you agree with the writer’s commentary, or would you describe the
president’s oratorical style differently?


 Reading this article and completing the writing activity 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: Virginia Tech Digital Library and Archives: The Journal of Technology Studies: Al Bellamy and M.C. Greenfield’s “Examining African American and Caucasian Interaction Patterns within Computer-Mediated Communication Environments” Link: Virginia Tech Digital Library and Archives: The Journal of Technology Studies: Al Bellamy and M.C. Greenfield’s “Examining African American and Caucasian Interaction Patterns within Computer-Mediated Communication Environments” (HTML)

    Instructions:  Please click on the link above and read this article by Dr. Al Bellamy and Dr. M.C. Greenfield from Eastern Michigan University.  This article explores the differences in communication and interaction between different ethnicities, particularly African Americans and Caucasians, in chat rooms online.

    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.

4.1.2 Latino   - Reading: The Hispanic Culture: Sarah Vick and Cydney King’s “Hispanic Culture” Link: The Hispanic Culture: Sarah Vick and Cydney King’s “Hispanic Culture” (HTML)

 Instructions: Please click on the link above and read this webpage
for some basic information about Hispanic culture, including a
section on communication behavior.  

 Reading this webpage should take approximately 1 hour.  

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

4.1.3 Asian/Pacific Islander   - Reading: Wikipedia’s “Pacific Islands” Link: Wikipedia’s “Pacific Islands” (HTML)

 Instructions:  Please click on the link and read this article about
the Pacific Islands.  Please feel free to click on any embedded
links of interest to learn more about specific areas.  

 Reading this article should take approximately 30 minutes.  

 Terms of Use:  Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: Plos One: Sook-Lei Liew, Yina Ma, Shihuna Han, and Lisa Aziz-Zadeh’s “Who's Afraid of the Boss: Cultural Differences in Social Hierarchies Modulate Self-Face Recognition in Chinese and Americans” Link: Plos One: Sook-Lei Liew, Yina Ma, Shihuna Han, and Lisa Aziz-Zadeh’s “Who's Afraid of the Boss: Cultural Differences in Social Hierarchies Modulate Self-Face Recognition in Chinese and Americans” (HTML or PDF)

    Instructions: Please click on the link above and read this article, which discusses the differences between American and Chinese views of power and hierarchy.  To download the PDF version of the article, click on the “PDF” link after “Download.”

    Reading this article should take approximately 2 hours.

    Terms of Use: The article is published with a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License by Plos One, a peer reviewed, open-access journal.

  • Web Media: YouTube: Younis A. Hamza Al-Hirz’s “Cross Cultural Greetings: Bahrain” Link: YouTube: Younis A. Hamza Al-Hirz’s “Cross Cultural Greetings: Bahrain” (YouTube)

    Instructions: Please click on the link above and watch this brief video, which offers specific verbal and nonverbal insight into phatic or basic communication practices in Middle Eastern culture.  Try to identify similarities and differences in what is suggested here and how you communicate in your own culture.

    Watching this video and pausing to take notes should take approximately 15 minutes.

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

  • Reading: Plos One: Xiaoqin Mai, Yue Ge, Lin Tao, Honghong Tang, Chao Liu, and Yue-Jia Luo’s “Eyes Are Windows to the Chinese Soul: Evidence from the Detection of Real and Fake Smiles” Link: Plos One: Xiaoqin Mai, Yue Ge, Lin Tao, Honghong Tang, Chao Liu, and Yue-Jia Luo’s “Eyes Are Windows to the Chinese Soul: Evidence from the Detection of Real and Fake Smiles” (HTML or PDF)

    Instructions:  Please click on the link above, and read this article.  To download the PDF version of the article, click on the “PDF” link after “Download.”  This research article explores how the eyes are an indicator of emotions for Chinese culture, whereas a smile or other facial expressions may be more indicative of emotion in other cultures.

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

    Terms of Use: The article is published with a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License by Plos One, a peer reviewed, open-access journal.

4.1.4 Native American   - Lecture: YouTube: Indiana University of Pennsylvania: Dr. Richard Lamberski’s “‘We Have Survived’: A Native American Perspective in the 21st Century” Link: YouTube: Indiana University of Pennsylvania: Dr. Richard Lamberski’s “‘We Have Survived’: A Native American Perspective in the 21st Century” (YouTube)

 Instructions: Please click on the link above and watch this lecture
about Native American culture.  This lecture is longer than the
others in this course as it addresses the much broader topic of
culture with insights into how communication is shaped by Native
American cultural beliefs and values.  Communication is addressed in
terms of language and dance as well as the wide range of variables
specific to Native American culture.  

 Watching this lecture and pausing to take notes should take
approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: Wikipedia’s “Native Americans in the United States” Link: Wikipedia’s “Native Americans in the United States” (HTML)

    Instructions:  Please click on the link above and read this article, which details the history of Native American people in the United States.

    Reading this article should take approximately 3 hours.

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

  • Lecture: Vimeo: The Gilder Lehrman Institute: Daniel Wildcat’s “Nature, Culture, and Native Americans” Link: Vimeo: The Gilder Lehrman Institute: Daniel Wildcat’s “Nature, Culture, and Native Americans” (MP4)

    Instructions:  Please click on the link above and watch this presentation by Daniel Wildcat, director of the American Indian Studies Program at Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas.  He addresses Native American culture and stereotypes.

    Watching this video and pausing to take notes should take approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.

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

4.2 Cultures Adapting to the United States   - Reading: Wikipedia’s “Immigration to the United States” Link: Wikipedia’s “Immigration to the United States” (HTML)

 Instruction: Please click on the link above and read this article,
which details the complexities of immigration to the United
States.  

 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: Latina Communicator: Silvina Jover-Cirillo’s “A Southern Latina” and “The Power of Words” Link: Latina Communicator: Silvina Jover-Cirillo’s “A Southern Latina” (HTML) and “The Power of Words” (HTML)

    Instructions: Please click on the links above and read these blog posts by Silvina Jover-Cirillo, who writes about her adjustment as a Latino to living in America.

    Reading these blog posts should take about 30 minutes.

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

  • Reading: Americana: Éva Eszter Szabó’s “The Clash of American Civilizations” Link: Americana: Éva Eszter Szabó’s “The Clash of American Civilizations” (HTML)

    Instructions: Please click on the link above and read this article by Éva Eszter Szabó, Assistant Professor at Eotvos Lorand University.  This article explores the effects of Latino immigration in the United States.

    Reading this article should take approximately 1 hour.

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

  • Reading: Connexions: OpenStax College: “Pop Culture, Subculture, and Cultural Change” Link: Connexions: OpenStax College: “Pop Culture, Subculture, and Cultural Change” (HTML)

    Instructions:  Please click on the link above and read this article, which addresses the challenges of learning both American culture and subculture.  Challenge yourself with the brief quiz after the reading.

    Reading this article and completing the assessment 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: Wikipedia’s “Integrative Communication Theory” Link: Wikipedia’s “Integrative Communication Theory” (HTML)

    Instructions: Please click on the link above and read this article on integrative communication theory, which addresses how others learn in a new culture.

    Reading this article should take approximately 1 hour.

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

  • Reading: Americana: Zoltán Kövesces’ “Studying American Culture through Its Metaphors” Link: Americana: Zoltán Kövesces’ “Studying American Culture through Its Metaphors” (HTML)

    Instructions:  Please click on the link above and read this article.  Professor Kövecses helps shed some light on the difficulties of adjusting to American culture by studying the culture through the use of metaphor.

    Reading this article should take approximately 3 hours.

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

4.3 Unit 4 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 did you learn about Native American culture that you did
not know before this class?  How is this culture similar or
different from your own?  
 2. Which of these cultures would be the easiest for you to
communicate with (aside from a culture which may be your own
culture)?  Why?  
 3. Which of these cultures would be the most challenging for you to
communicate with?  Why?  

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