This course looks at the variety of communication resulting from cultural differences. Cultural variation arises from differences of language, religion, geographic or national origin, gender, ethnicity, and the like. Many Asian cultures, for example, promote group harmony (collectivism) rather than individual achievement, as we do in the United States. As a result, communication patterns differ, so that what might be persuasive in the U. S. might not be in China. Cultures obviously differ in language and often in religion, but they also differ widely in nonverbal communication. A harmless gesture in the United States may get you in trouble in France or Brazil. People of different cultures do not see the world the same way, which immediately affects communication. The course is designed with two aims in mind: improving the student’s ability to adapt to cultural differences and encouraging greater acceptance of intercultural differences. Guest lecturers share their cultural experiences and the challenges they have faced in the United States.
There are objective tests and a term paper in the course.