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Viewing: COM 292 : Language, Communication, and Culture

Last approved: Thu, 15 Feb 2018 09:02:36 GMT

Last edit: Fri, 02 Feb 2018 21:03:51 GMT

Catalog Pages referencing this course
Change Type
Minor
COM (Communication)
292
032552
Dual-Level Course
Cross-listed Course
No
Language, Communication, and Culture
Language Communication Culture
College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Communication (16COM)
Term Offering
Fall, Spring and Summer
Offered Every Year
Spring 2018
Previously taught as Special Topics?
Yes
2
 
Course Prefix/NumberSemester/Term OfferedEnrollment
COM 298/SSUS 295Summer 1 (Maymester)10
COM 298/SSUS 295Summer 1 (Maymeser)9
Course Delivery
Face-to-Face (On Campus)

Grading Method
Letter Grade Only
3
16
Contact Hours
(Per Week)
Component TypeContact Hours
Lecture3.0
Course Attribute(s)
GEP (Gen Ed)

If your course includes any of the following competencies, check all that apply.
University Competencies

Course Is Repeatable for Credit
No
 
 
Lynsey Romo
Assistant Professor

Open when course_delivery = campus OR course_delivery = blended OR course_delivery = flip
Enrollment ComponentPer SemesterPer SectionMultiple Sections?Comments
Lecture2424NoWould likely be smaller enrollment in summer
Open when course_delivery = distance OR course_delivery = online OR course_delivery = remote


Is the course required or an elective for a Curriculum?
Yes
SIS Program CodeProgram TitleRequired or Elective?
16COMBA-16COMMED Communication Media ConcentrationElective
16COMBA-16COMIORInterpersonal, Organizational, and Rhetorical CommunicationElective
16COMBA-16COMPRPublic Relations ConcentrationElective
We use different modes of communication depending on whether we are participating in classroom discussion, talking with our parents or boss, hanging out with our friends, or visiting a different country. However, rarely do we have the opportunity to consciously reflect upon our communicative behaviors. In this class we will unpack some of the ways culture and society influence our communication, as well as how our communication affects the culture and the society in which we live. Becoming aware of the effect that our words, shared meanings, and contexts have on how we express ourselves can be the difference between positive and negative communicative experiences.

Course did not route correctly in original approval. 


No

Is this a GEP Course?
Yes
GEP Categories
Social Sciences
US Diversity
Humanities Open when gep_category = HUM
Each course in the Humanities category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Mathematical Sciences Open when gep_category = MATH
Each course in the Mathematial Sciences category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Natural Sciences Open when gep_category = NATSCI
Each course in the Natural Sciences category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Social Sciences Open when gep_category = SOCSCI
Each course in the Social Sciences category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 
Students will examine the ways in which culture can affect language and communication.
 
 
Measurement: Portfolio/writing assignment
Example Prompt—Read the article entitled, “Body Rituals of the Nacirema” by Horace Miner. Read this article carefully, noting how each ritual is described. Select a “ritual activity” of your own and describe it following the example of Miner’s article. Discuss Agar’s notion that culture makes the arbitrary seem natural and how that idea relates to this exercise. Also, what is the value of Miner’s Nicerema and your own Nacirema-like piece in terms of understanding culture?
 
 
Student will conduct empirical studies of naturally-occurring behavior as well as deviations from cultural norms.
 
 
Measurement: Portfolio/writing assignment
Example Prompt—We have discussed the notion of “healthy deviance” in class. For this assignment:
1. Define and briefly critique healthy deviance
2. Think of a healthy yet deviant behavior that you can temporarily adopt (e.g., become vegetarian, give up alcohol or sugar, etc.) and plan to enact this behavior for two straight days. Choose a behavior that is at odds with how you normally act/what you normally do.
3. Go out to places or hang out with people where engaging in such healthy deviant behavior is outside the norm of that culture, and observe what happens (but do not tell people why you are doing what you are doing). How do people react? How do you feel? What do you say if they question or pressure you? Write up your detailed experiences. Be sure to relate your experiences to what we have discussed about communication, particularly felt and enacted stigma.
 
 
Students will identify and apply communication theories that provide a framework for understanding the root of cultural misunderstandings.
 
 
Measurement: Portfolio/writing assignment
Example Prompt—In the first chapter of Language Shock, Agar talks about the “number one mentality” and the “deficit theory.” For this assignment, I would like you to do the following:
1. Define the terms “number one mentality” and the “deficit” theory using Agar’s definitions, followed by offering your own definition of each term.
2. Provide at least two examples from your own life where you may have demonstrated the “number one mentality” about another culture. Discuss the deficit theory in relation to your examples in terms of a) your own perspective, and b) the other culture in question.
Interdisciplinary Perspectives Open when gep_category = INTERDISC
Each course in the Interdisciplinary Perspectives category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Visual & Performing Arts Open when gep_category = VPA
Each course in the Visual and Performing Arts category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Health and Exercise Studies Open when gep_category = HES
Each course in the Health and Exercise Studies category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
&
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Global Knowledge Open when gep_category = GLOBAL
Each course in the Global Knowledge category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to achieve objective #1 plus at least one of objectives 2, 3, and 4:
 
 

 
 

 
Please complete at least 1 of the following student objectives.
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

US Diversity Open when gep_category = USDIV
Each course in the US Diversity category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to achieve at least 2 of the following objectives:
Please complete at least 2 of the following student objectives.
 
 
Examine and analyze U. S. socialization norms pertaining to gender, ethnicity, and/or race and how these norms and behaviors are reflected in language and communication.
 
 
Measurement: Portfolio/writing assignment
Example Prompt—For this assignment, choose three gender-related issues raised in Deborah Tannen’s book, That’s Not What I Meant! They may be examples that “ring true” to your own experience, or they may be points with which you disagree. First, summarize the issues. Then, relate these issues to your own experience. Finally, critique what you’ve found. Do you think Tannen’s observations are correct? Do her claims hold true in all cases? How do these issues relate to other material we have discussed in class?
 
 
Critically and skeptically examine a specific cultural context, past and present, using communication theories to identify and discuss how language and communication have shaped how we think about a particular social problem.
 
 
Measurement: Portfolio/writing assignment
Example Prompt: After reading Bailey’s article, Communicative behavior and conflict between African-American customers and Korean immigrant retailers in Los Angeles,” explain the role of language and communication in shaping racism and misunderstanding; how can communication theories (particularly Communication Accommodation theory) explain this social problem?
 
 
Student will apply communication perspectives and theories to investigate the link between language, identity, social interaction, and social justice.
 
 
Measurement: Portfolio/writing assignment
Example Prompt: In what way does the author of the autoethnographic novel Black Like Me use communication in his pursuit for social justice? Be sure to apply communication perspectives and theories in exploring the connection between language, identity, social interaction, and social justice.
 
 
Students will examine how communicators use language in particular contexts, the patterns that emerge in human interaction, and how those patterns may different across cultural boundaries.
 
 
Measurement: Portfolio/writing assignment
Example Prompt—Find and watch a Youtube clip from the TV show “Will and Grace.” To what extent do Will and Jack use either what Leap called “gay discourse” or “gay language” with one another. How does the communication and dialect change when a heterosexual character enters the scene? In what ways do any communication shifts demonstrate the ways in which cultural norms can affect communication and communication can affect culture? Be sure to include the link.
Requisites and Scheduling
100%
 
a. If seats are restricted, describe the restrictions being applied.
 
N/A
 
b. Is this restriction listed in the course catalog description for the course?
 
N/A
 
List all course pre-requisites, co-requisites, and restrictive statements (ex: Jr standing; Chemistry majors only). If none, state none.
 
N/A
 
List any discipline specific background or skills that a student is expected to have prior to taking this course. If none, state none. (ex: ability to analyze historical text; prepare a lesson plan)
 
N/A
Additional Information
Complete the following 3 questions or attach a syllabus that includes this information. If a 400-level or dual level course, a syllabus is required.
 
Title and author of any required text or publications.
 
See syllabus
 
Major topics to be covered and required readings including laboratory and studio topics.
 
See syllabus
 
List any required field trips, out of class activities, and/or guest speakers.
 
See syllabus
The instructor will be teaching this course as part of her regular course load. No new resources are required for this course.

Course Objectives

Unit 1: Language and Culture

We will examine the relationship between language and communication, the structure of human languages, and the ways in which culture influences language. Specific concepts you should understand by the end of this unit include:



  •  Features of language as a form of communication

  •  The basic elements of human languages (“language inside the circle”)

  • How misunderstandings occur across cultures as well as within cultures


Unit 2: Language in Use

We will examine how communicators use language in particular contexts and the patterns that emerge in human interaction. We will consider how those patterns may differ across cultural boundaries. Specific concepts you should understand by the end of this unit include:



  •  How frames help communicators make sense of language

  • The ethnography of communication as a way of analyzing language use in cultural events

  • How we “do things” with words

  • Cultural variation in conversational style


Unit 3: Language and Identity

We will investigate the link between language and identity. Specific concepts you should understand by the end of this unit include:



  • Social and regional variations in language use

  • Ways of thinking about the relationship between language, gender, and identity

  • Goffman’s concept of everyday life as performance

  • The construction of identity through communicative acts


Student Learning Outcomes

1. Identify ways in which culture can affect language and communication.

2. Conduct empirical studies of naturally-occurring behavior as well as deviations from cultural norms.

3. Identify and explain theories that provide a framework for understanding the root of cultural misunderstandings

4. Describe U.S. socialization norms pertaining to gender, ethnicity, and/or race and how these norms and behaviors are reflected in language and communication.

5. Critically analyze interactions among people of varying sexual orientations, genders, and/or racial groups.


Evaluation MethodWeighting/Points for EachDetails
Quizzes20 points (10%)short "minute exercises" on the readings to ensure students are keeping up with and understanding the readings
Oral Presentation50 points (25%)in groups students will deliver a presentation on a new culture, incorporating class concepts and academic literature
Participation20 points (10%)regularly paying attention, contributing ideas, refraining from distracting behaviors
Essay80 points (40%)A series of essays that will enable the students to “show off” their mastery over class material and readings by applying those ideas in creative ways to their everyday life. The essays will also give them insight into the methods communication scholars use to recognize, describe, and explain how communication works in the “real world.”
Other10 points (5%)rough drafts of the essays will be due and peer edited in class
Oral Presentation20 points (10%)twice with a partner(s) students will lead part of the day's discussion about assigned academic readings
The uploaded syllabus/course schedule reflects the latest version of the Maymester version of this course. The assignments and content would be spread out over 15 weeks (plus the final exam) once the class is offered during the regular semester.
Key: 18717