For this assignment you are to plan an encounter with a culture other than your own, that you complete from now until the paper is due. You are expected to go outside of your comfort zone when choosing a culture, but under no circumstances should you take any risks or put yourself in danger. Yet, it should be something that you are uncomfortable with a bit because that means you are truly learning something new. And if you think “that’s weird” during the experience just know anyone you are interacting with likely thinks the same of you. We think something is weird when it doesn’t fit our cultural norm/values.
Your task is to place yourself in a cultural setting you are NOT already familiar with. Interact with members of that culture, and observe your verbal and nonverbal communication behaviors and outcomes in the process. This can be something new and something you complete since you’ve started this course or something that you did a few weeks, months, or years ago. Then, submit a 2-3 page typed, double spaced paper which should contain the following:
1) A brief description of what you did
2) An analysis of some initial barriers you may have and what you did to improve your intercultural communication competence/how did you address these barriers?
3) A discussion of what you learned about the culture overall and its communication style as a result of your experience. For example, you could analyze the experience in terms of how you saw Hofstede’s Cultural values at work, or you could describe examples you witnessed of the cultures values, beliefs, attitudes, behaviors, unique knowledge, and norms (How Culture Affects Communication section of Chapter 2 in your textbook).
This paper requires academic references. So you are strongly advised to read about your culture prior to the experience and cite any additional readings. Any advance reading you do would make an excellent addition to your paper. Your paper should be formatted in APA style.
Make this an enjoyable and enlightening experience! Start now. Be creative and have FUN! Below are a few ways you might interact with other cultures. This list is NOT exhaustive. Email your instructor if you have additional ideas or need more suggestions.
Social events (weddings, parties, etc.)
Travel within Indiana (e.g. Amish country)
Developing a friendship at work or in your neighborhood with someone from a different culture and learn about their culture through various interactions (for ex.: you have dinner at their house)
The paper should be 2-3 pages, typed, double-spaced, 1-inch margins, 12 point Times New Roman font, with a cover page. Please save your paper in .doc or .docx format to ensure your instructor can open it easily. This assignment is worth 100 points and must be submitted by the end of this module.
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