What is this paper about?
For this paper, you will watch a short video and read two articles to help you discuss issues that relate to culture and interpersonal communication. You will then write a paper in which you use the video, articles, plus an example from personal experience (your own or someone you know) or from popular culture to discuss issues that arise during intercultural communications.
More specifically: You’re being asked to analyze a conflict that arises when people from different cultural backgrounds communicate. There are various co-cultural groups represented in the videos (socioeconomic status, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, gender, disability, region, nationality, and politics). Pick a co-cultural group you observed in the video and focus on that group for your paper. Your discussion should include a description of the communication rules and cultural values in that group. Use examples from the video, and supporting information from two articles, plus a supporting example from your own experience to discuss how membership in that group influenced communication. (To help you come up with ways to address the topic and to come up with a thesis statement, please see the prompts listed below.)
- Choose ONE of these five videos:
– Clint Smith’s TED talk, “How to Raise a Black Son in America”
- Ash Beckham’s TEDxBoulder talk, “When to Take a Stand – and When to Let It Go”
- Jean Kilbourne’s TEDxLafayetteCollege talk, “The Dangerous Ways Ads See Women”
- A clip from People in America: How Social Class Divides Us
- The video clip “Culture Shock Sudanese Refugees Coming to America”
The videos are all short; I would recommend watching a few of them so you can pick the one that you can use most effectively for this assignment.
- Choose TWO of these seven articles (NOT ALL):
- Banks-Santilli, Linda. “The unique challenges of a first-generation college student.” Quartz Media, 03 June 2015, https://qz.com/418695/the-unique-challenges-of-a-first-generation-college-student/. Accessed 10 May 2017.
- Birman, Dina and Meredith Poff. “Intergenerational Differences in Acculturation.” Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development, April 2011, http://www.child-encyclopedia.com/immigration/according-experts/intergenerational-differences-acculturation. Accessed 14 April 2016.
- Churgai, Debbie. “The Influence of Gender on Communication Style”, LinkedIn, 8 January 2015, https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/influence-gender-communication-style-debbie-churgai. Accessed 10 May 2017.
- DuPraw, Marcella E. and Marya Axner. “Working on Common Cross-cultural Communication Challenges.” PBS, 1997, http://www.pbs.org/ampu/crosscult.html. Accessed 5 April 2017.
- Gross, Jessica. “How Language Can Affect the Way We Speak”. Ted.Com, 19 February 2013, http://ideas.ted.com/5-examples-of-how-the-languages-we-speak-can-affect-the-way-we-think/. Accessed 10 May 2017.
- Jaeger-Fine, Desiree. “Five Cultural Values That Will Enhance Your Study & Job Search in the U.S.” Lawyer & Statesman, The National Jurist, 25 Jan. 2016, nationaljurist.com/content/five-cultural-values-will-enhance-your-study-job-search-us-0. Accessed 4 February 2016.
- Meyer, Erin. “Looking Another Culture in the Eye.” The New York Times, 13 September 2014, nytimes.com/2014/09/14/jobs/looking-another-culture-in-the-eye.html?_r=0. Accessed 23 January 2017.
- Use an example from personal experience or popular culture as another reference.
- Write a 3-page paper (750-1000 words, 12 pt. font, double-spaced, one-inch margins) in which you:
Use the examples from one video, two articles, plus an example from personal or experience or popular culture, to support a thesis* about culture and interpersonal communication.
Things to remember:
- The assignment and the grading rubric are all posted on Blackboard.
- You must hand in a hard copy the day the paper is due. If it is not handed in at the beginning of class on the day it is due, 5 points will be taken off your grade for every day that it is late.
- The paper must be turned in through Blackboard on the day it is due.
- Your paper will be assessed using the departmental grading rubric.
- The paper makes up 15% of your final grade.
- Follow MLA guidelines for format and citations and include a Works Cited page (bibliography).
You should include a one sentence thesis statement that indicates the position you’re taking in your paper about culture and interpersonal communication (it will be helpful to use the terms “culture” and “interpersonal communication” in the thesis statement). The thesis statement should take a position on the impact of culture on interpersonal communication relative to the video, articles, and a personal experience or a popular culture example. Please underline your thesis statement in your final essay.
References and Citation
When you use other people’s words, ideas, or work in your paper, you must cite them. If you directly quote their work, you use quotation marks to signify this and give the page number, as well. If you are simply paraphrasing or borrowing from one (or more) person’s work, you do not need quotation marks, but you still need to indicate whose words you are using with a citation (for example, put their names in parentheses after the paraphrase).
At the end of your paper, you should have a Works Cited page where you list all of the references used in your paper. For the articles, you will find the citation information included above. If you need more information on formatting and citing in MLA for the video, and go to the OWL at Purdue on MLA formatting: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/.
Note: Here are some possible prompts to help you think of a thesis. You should NOT try to use all of them, and you can use one that’s different from below. These are just suggestions to help you come up with ideas.
- What are some key challenges that communicators face in intercultural communication situations and what are some specific ways they can resolve them?
- What are some specific ways that differences in one’s key cultural values (e.g. low versus high context culture, power distance, individualism versus collectivism) can create problems in intercultural communication situations? How can communicators successfully address these value differences?
- How does the way we speak influence how others perceive us and how they communicate with us? Explain your position and provide evidence to support it.
- Do you believe that one’s gender makes a difference in how one is perceived in the world, specifically how one communicates with others and is communicated with by others? Explain your position and provide evidence to support it.
- How does the experience of first-generation immigrants impact their daily experience? Explain your position and provide evidence to support it.
- What impact does socioeconomic status have on how one communicates with others? Explain your position and provide evidence to support it.
- How can differences in co-cultural group membership lead to misperceptions and miscommunication? What are some specific ways that these can be resolved?
o Groups to consider: Disability, Deaf culture, religion, hobbies, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, age…
- Do you believe that one’s appearance (e.g. dreadlocks, headscarf, gender fluidity, tattoos, scars, disability) makes a difference in how one is perceived in the world, specifically how one communicates with others and is communicated with by others? Explain your position and provide evidence to support it.
- What are the major causes of intercultural communication conflict? How can these causes be successfully resolved? Explain your position and provide evidence to support it.
- People who move to and/or do work in a new country should be expected to conform to the cultural values, norms, and traditions of their new country. Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Explain your position and provide evidence to support it.
Due dates will be announced in class and posted to Blackboard. Remember: all assignments must be handed in on the due date. For every day they are late, 5 points will be taken off the grade.
Your paper will be graded using the Departmental Scoring Rubric. It is worth 15% of your final grade.
- For the video clip you decide to use, explain briefly why you want to use it.
- For the two articles you decide to read, pull a quote or a paraphrased sentence that you think will be helpful and that you will use in your essay. Make sure to indicate which article you are quoting or paraphrasing.
This homework assignment will count as a quiz grade. The following are the point values:
- Explanation for choice of video: 3 points
- Quotes/paraphrases from the fist article: 4 points
- Quotes/paraphrases from the second article: 4 points
You should use MY personal experiences. I am Asian girl came from Korea. I have lived for 6 years in NYC and I’m studying radiology (x-rays) and doing clinicals in a hospital in the Bronx. I wish my personal information I provided is helpful for writing my assignment.
Outline should be submitted by May 5th and paper due date is May 14th. I’ve heard I can receive them in 3-4 days. Outline is about what 2 articles and 1 video you will use and thesis….etc
Thesis Statement – Cultural differences that still exist in the society of America and entire world can only be solved through an extensive interpersonal communication and clear understanding of the differences yet the similiraties of others
In writing the below thesis I used the following few articles as well as video to create a viewpoint. The articles that I used were “Unique challenge of first-generation students” where it showed how unique problems even people in the same field might have followed by “Looking another culture in the eye” which helped me to understand the possible ways a person with an open mind can use to completely eradicate the cultural difficulties and finally the video of “how to raise a black son in America” which shows the ingrained cultural differences and fear that are still present in various races which migh take many eons to be completely eradicated.
The videos and articles that have been pointed out as reading material in this part tell us about a very deep-seated problem which though many of us do tend to ignore is very much the reality for many others. However, that is not where they stop. They go forward to show us examples where it is possible to leave in unison and harmony that we are meant to be through maybe just changing your outlook a little bit and in some cases maybe make sure what is more important. It talks about the same type of people being set and brought up in the same atmosphere and surrounding but with two completely different mindsets which not only changes the life of the person but about how he sees his surroundings too.
The video that I chose mainly stood out from the other in showing a grim picture. I chose it because it not only promised to tell about life as well as the struggles of some of the most exploited people but also brought about an outsider view into it. The video “how to raise a black son in America” helped me to get a glaring look at the cultural distinction that is still present in a country as advanced as that of America. It tries to show us the life of an average black boy who has to be bred and brought up in a completely different way to his white counterpart just because of his color. The quote that really struck a chord with me is when the protagonist understands the turmoil their parents face every day “To maintain a fine balance not to make their son agree to anything that is wrong but still to make him understand what he needs to adjust in order to live in the country.” This small line shows a glaring truth where the people are not only oppressed due to a faulty sort of intercultural communication but has also resigned themselves to live in it. This shows a difference which might never be bridged or covered. I believe in such intercultural communications stems from stereotypes with blacks being connected to criminal tendencies while other cultures like Asians are tagged with being nerds and low aptitude towards sports. Such stereotypes coupled with the obsessive fanatism of certain individuals make the intercultural communication impossible and flawed with misconception and misunderstanding. This type of barriers as is told in the video of how a color associates the person with always having to put their hands where they can be seen and in many cases glances of alarm and fear is what many cultures and races have to leave with day in and day out and they are not ending (Giles, Howard (2015). Such miscommunication often leads to huge rebellions and unrest and are root causes of many cultural conflicts and distrusts.
However intercultural communication is not always the one putting or dragging people back. Even the way a person is brought up, the environment that he faces in his home day in and day out are responsible for the way that they view their surroundings. In the article “Unique challenge of first-generation students” shows us how the lack of education or monetary power in the family may not only hold back and isolate students from such families, but they may also find themselves belonging to no place and alone. The basic instinct that many of these first-generation students have of supporting their families through education is quite different from the others around them which frequently leads them down an isolated isle of self-pity and loneliness. However, not all areas are grim. The quote in the article “There are first-generation college students who view their status as a source of strength” shows that it is just your outlook that can determine how you take what you are and mingle with the racially as well as socially different set of people because at the end if you can not love yourself no one else will
On the other hand, the article of “Looking another culture in the eye” is a prime example of how inter-cultural communication can be improved dramatically only if a little bit of empathy and effort is put into it. The quote is stating “It has to do with how bright their eyes are.” Beautifully captures the fact in which every person from every culture has similar qualities, u just need to keep your eyes open to everyone and understand what is it that really brings out the best among all(Giffin, Kim (2009).
Even in my life, I have on multiple occasions faces a lack of communication and understanding between two ethnically different races. Being of Asian origin I have been easily tagged with being a nerd with very low enthusiasm to fun and sports which may not always be the case, people have tried not to be themselves and be overtly polite in order to maintain the knowledge that they have learned of the importance of politeness among Japanese, which might not be the case for all. Though I have found a lot of friends here who see through any sort of racial boundaries or misunderstandings that may still be prevalent it doesn’t stop me from thinking what would have happened if we, the whole world, would have been truly a single race, where no heed was needed to be paid to the color, or the accent of the other with only the qualities he/she possesses determining his mettle, where there would be no wars raged just to prove the supremacy of one color. That is a world I believe that human beings are truly meant to be in
Association of phycological Science (2011). ” Cultural differences are evident deep in the brain of Caucasian and Asian people.”
Giffin, Kim (2009). “Social alienation by communication denial.”
Giffin, Kim (2009). “Social alienation by communication denial.”
Dragojevic, Marko; Gasiorek, Jessica; Giles, Howard (2015). “Communication Accommodation Theory”
The International Encyclopedia of Interpersonal Communication
Bhawuk, D. P. & Brislin, R. (1992). “The Measurement of Intercultural Sensitivity Using the Concepts of Individualism and Collectivism,”
International Journal of Intercultural Relations(16), 413–36.
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