You must choose 2 of the following 4 discussion questions to answer and provide a substantive discussion for each. Each is worth 30 points.
In our discussion of intercultural communication, we stated that cultural influences are dynamic, shifting, and overlapping. Additionally, we suggested that the characteristics associated with the members of a cultural group should be considered as indicators of central tendency—not every member will be influenced to the same degree by their cultural memberships or display precisely the same characteristics or behaviors. Using an example from your personal experience, discuss two people that would be considered members of the same cultural group yet who differ significantly from one another. Discuss their similarities and differences and speculate as to the underlying reasons for their existence.
In the presentation and chapter on intercultural communication, several tactics for intercultural communication competence are described. Choose an intercultural communication interaction from the film Crash where you feel the communication between parties was ineffective. Explore how their interaction might be improved by specifically applying two of the tactics for intercultural communication competence mentioned in the chapter and presentation. Alternately, you may choose to apply two of the tactics to an event from your personal experience that you feel is an appropriate example of an ineffective intercultural interaction.
One of the themes explored in the film Crash was the use of cultural stereotypes. Choose 3 specific stereotypes referenced in the film and discuss how they impacted the events portrayed in the film. If you had hypothetically switched places with one of the characters in the film discuss whether or not you might have (even unknowingly) been influence by some of the same stereotypical perceptions and explain the reasoning behind your answer.
Alternately, you may choose to discuss in detail 3 situations where you erroneously applied stereotypes in an interaction with someone else or were affected by another inaccurately stereotyping you.
One area of difference in communication codes discussed in the unit on intercultural communication are differences in cultural communication styles—culturally defined rules governing communication that can affect how members of a cultural group approach particular communication tasks—including the topics are acceptable for discussion in a given situation, and those that are taboo, what contexts are appropriate for a given communication task (e.g. sharing personal information), and other norms that influence their expectations for how a given communication interaction should take place. Choose an interaction in the film Crash that you believe was influenced by differences in cultural communication styles. Elaborate on what you believe those differences to be, how you feel they influenced the interaction, and how the parties might have been able to more effectively communicate with one another. Alternately, you may choose to discuss in detail (along the same lines as elaborated above) a personal experience where you believe differences in cultural communication styles contributed to ineffective communication.
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