Note: This class is cross-listed with PSYC 290. This course was formerly COIN 290.
This course serves as an introduction to contemporary concepts, practices, and processes of interpersonal communication in an intercultural perspective. Throughout this class, students will acquire the methodologies and knowledge to engage critically with their personal experiences abroad as intercultural communicators. They will participate in critical assessment of intercultural communication theories and apply the explicit goal of addressing a variety of topics. These topics range from the nature of language, culture, and society, to analysis of verbal, paraverbal, and non-verbal communication, underlying meaning in discourse, representation of individual stereotypes and prejudices. A strong focus will be given to the relationship between language, culture and identity, and relevant topics will be deeply discussed and applied with relevant hands-on activities. Students will observe communicative events in their context, at various levels of “interculturality”, keeping in mind that all types of interpersonal communication are ultimately intercultural. This course will also help students better navigate the intricacies of Italian cultural identities and their own intercultural communication practices during their study abroad experience.
Students will be expected to bring personal insights into the classrooms and use communication theories to understand, analyze, and evaluate intercultural experiences. Questions that they will examine include the following: How is communication scientifically investigated? What are the different components that are relevant in a communication event? What are different elements to communication, e.g., verbal, paraverbal, non-verbal as well as some visual elements? What is the role of different languages in different contexts of usage? What is the relationship between language, culture, society, and one’s identity? The answers to these issues will be explored through lectures, class discussions, readings, writing assignments, and research activities of everyday interactions.
By the end of the course, students will be able to:
- critically engage with a communicative event;
- critically engage with contemporary theories in intercultural communication, anthropology and linguistics;
- appreciate the value of cultural diversity;
- critically assess the relationship between language, culture, and identity; and
- learn communication techniques to solve intercultural and interpersonal conflict.
Piller, Ingrid. Intercultural Communication, A critical introduction, Edinburgh University Press (2nd Edition), 2017.
Mandatory course reader.