ONGOING UPDATES. Grading/points details to be determined. - each paper roughly equal to an online quiz. Also suitable for use as a Project #7 topic. <If interested, discuss possibilities & submission deadlines with Professor>






This is an occasionally updated, ongoing list of topic ideas. You also should keep your eye on any    Interpersonal issues showing up in contemporary headlines. Select whatever one news story you want. You can select from the list below  [ most items on this list occurred within the last few years and you can follow up by searching for the relevant online/hardcopy news coverage]  or you can propose a topic for a reaction paper --sparked by any "real world" occurrence that relates to a DYNAMIC-OF-HUMAN-COMUNICATION

Each submission  should  reflect your Feelings/Reactions/Thoughts &/or Insights. Nevertheless, each entry needs to include reference to a specific concept from your notes and/or text. Each entry should be at least 2-3 "comprehensive"  paragraphs long.. [see additional suggestions below in Guidelines section]

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 

1. Issues of cultural adaptation  {as discussed in Chapter 4}

> such as the  OLYMPUS company's  Oct 2011 firing of their non-Japanese CEO because he was using an operating style that did not respect their cultural norms for saving face. search:  

> (additional examples of adapting to cultural norms of others =  Barack Obama's meeting with the Dalai Lama. (October 5 or 6 , 2009)  AND/OR Barack Obama bowing when meeting Japan’s Emperor Akihito   (November 14, 2009)

> Decoding Etiquette in China, Handshakes to Meals : Interview with Eden Collinsworth on her  latest book: “I Stand Corrected: How Teaching Western Manners in China Became Its Own Unforgettable Lesson.”


2.Australian TV skit of the Jackson Jive" --- done in Blackface  (October 8. 2009) . Cultural insensitivity ?


3. The Barry Melrose incident  ( click for info)


4. Intercultural Insight: Below, at the  very end of this document are several insights that past students have offered after completing the "Create-a-co-Culture" unit. Take any one of these statements. Then complete these 3 steps:  (1)  Paraphrase/Explain what you think my students meant--in light of the activities that are part of doing that that unit  (2) Cite a few personal experiences of your own  that you believe either exemplify /OR/ disprove the original insight statement  (3) Explain YOUR position on that original  statement. "Selected Insights on Culture / co-culture / Diversity / Intercultural Communication" [click to go to list or just scroll down]


5. analyze the film Everybody’s Fine (2009) by applying at least 3 of the Family dynamics we studied/ discussed.


6.analyze the film Gran Torino by applying at least 3 specific concepts from (1)culture/co-culture,  (2)gender communication,   (3) in-group communication

7. analyze the film Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins by applying at least 3 specific concepts from (1)PPTR-F ( ex. You are always your Parent's child  (2)Punctuation ("You started it!")  (3) -PPTR-F (all families are functional & dysfunctional.

8. the New York Times article on lack of empathy in young people [ click for link to copy of article]


9. the  uproar & NPR backlash over the  incident  a few years ago with Juan Williams.  Several course concepts apply, especially IPT >Stereotyping> prejudice> biased behavior // 2011 UPDATE: ...and what do you think of the fact that Juan Williams ultimately 'landed on his feet & was  deemed to be credible enough for such tasks as moderating a 2008 Republican presidential candidate debate and serving as a news commentator on Fax News ???


10. via reference to specific Perception concepts, explain the widely varying perspectives on  the protesters  who have been occupying Zuccotti Park, NY (i.e. the  "Occupy Wall Street"  protests which began Sept. 17, 2011). The  protesters have been very vocal about their cause, yet members in the larger public  continue to portray them as unfocused & confused. How can there be such differing perceptions? 


11. analyze the linked news article (Long Term Unemployed face Catch 2)click for link to copy of article]  for aspects which exemplify IPT / Stereotyping / Prejudice / Bias.  If you lost points on any of these terms on recent tests/quizzes, be sure you THOROUGHLY understand these terms before writing this paper.



12.  Considering what we have discussed this semester concerning such human dynamics as (1) phatic communication &  the need to connect which often is more important than the actual message content  (2) metacommunication & how the way something is said "clues" the speaker's real intention  and (3) Speech Act Theory in which humans USE words to "do' things to other people [i.e. "sticks & stones... " is a myth] , write a reaction to the attached article"Studies Find That Gossip Isn't Just Loose Talk"

13.  Write a paper analyzing this linked news article ( or any other article on this incident in the news in  March 2016.) You need to CONCRETELY apply any 2 concepts from Chapter 3 [ perc] and any 2 from chapter 4 [div]. Bonus points for avoiding the trite & the obvious.










below = "Selected Insights on Culture / co-Culture / Diversity / Intercultural Comm." from past students' classroom comments. Any one of these is has potential for a "REACTION PAPER: either to support or refute

> Creating a 3rd culture is complex & requires much re-learning but is possible after you get past the initial awkwardness &/or self-consciousness.

> High /Low context issues matter. They can affect our lives- even in the U.S.

> Gender roles vary (due to culture & circumstance) & that’s OK!

> Your original upbringing stays with you & influences you./i.e.
Appreciate your culture’s elements; they will be with you always

>ACCulturation is possible but it works better if you research the new culture 1st.

> There can be much diversity even if the groups/co-cultures geographically  nearby each other

> Diversity  can be present even if the groups/co-cultures are  geographically  nearby each other.

> There is a
strong impact of context & typographical  surroundings upon a culture's evolution & development.

> The diaspora effect really does happen!  Cultures split off.

> To really understand a culture you need to examine them in all 3 categories (at least): ELEMENTS|VALUES|CONTEXT

> People look for different things to connect to / You are not necessarily comfortable in your "home" culture

> Various Elements/Values/Context items eventually overlapped & connected

>The micro informs the macro ( i.e. the evidence you find in a small example of something usually represents key characteristics from the larger version of that something.  
> Respect the people & the culture- during both ENculturation & ACCulturation.

> When in Rome... Those from other cultures who are now living & doing business in the U.S. NEED TO ADAPT to local norms -- not the other way around.  (e.g. place the customer's $change into the outstretched hand / not on the counter ))
*>Trooper & the Lady preview

last updated 10/6/14