Intercultural Communication

Course Website for Tunghai FLLD Seminar

Archive for October, 2006

National Geographic video about the Haj

Posted by thuicc on October 23, 2006

This video is about the Haj, the pilgrimage Muslims are supposed to take to the holy city of Mecca. Watch it to learn more about the Islamic faith–and also to get a sense of how the West portrays Muslims. This can help you prepare for the exchange with our partners in Kuwait.

Here is a link to the video in a larger format.

Posted in media, websites | 2 Comments »

This afternoon’s class

Posted by thuicc on October 19, 2006

Here are two websites we will be using for this afternoon’s class:

The focus of the activities we’ll be doing here is on how global English-language media portray or understand Taiwan.

The first project involves looking at English-language newspapers from around the world in order to see how they represent Taiwan to their audiences. What counts as “news” from Taiwan? Of what interest is news from Taiwan to the audiences of those online newspapers? And what do those news articles suggest about the culture(s) of Taiwan and/or the relationships of Taiwan to the audiences of the articles?

The second project takes a look at Wikipedia, an online “collaborative” encyclopedia. Wikipedia is written and edited by many people–almost anyone who accesses an article on the site can make changes to the information on the site. The website also keeps records of the changes and records discussions held about how articles should be written. (Take a look, for example, at the Taiwan article, the history of changes to that article, and the discussions that have gone on about that article.) This information–and the fact that Wikipedia is a popular site for students, scholars, and other people to go for quick information on all kinds of topics–means that Wikipedia is an interesting and important site to look at when we want to understand the various ways in which Taiwan is understood (or misunderstood, depending on your perspective) and the debates and controversies that go on about how to understand this place.

Articles to take a look at for this second assignment: Taiwan, Taiwanese people, Culture of Taiwan (and the articles’ changes and histories).

I’ll be asking you to work on small groups, choose one of these assignments, and prepare to present your conclusions on this course blog in the near future. (Date is still to be determined.)

Posted in assignments, course admin, media, websites | 1 Comment »

US population passes 300 million

Posted by thuicc on October 18, 2006

Below are links to two articles about the US population’s recent estimated rise to/above 300 million. As they both mention, immigration is one of the key factors behind the relatively quick jump from 200 million in 1967 (the year before yours truly was born) and 2006.

As the articles also mention, immigration is one of the hot political issues in this election year in the United States.

Posted in immigration, media, United States, websites | Comments Off on US population passes 300 million

Individualism and collectivism in our class

Posted by thuicc on October 12, 2006

Well, using the individualism/collectivism survey that we filled out this afternoon, I can come to the following shaky unscientific conclusions about our class.

Our average scores:

Horizontal Individualism: 49.42857

Vertical Individualism: 35.21429

Horizontal Collectivism: 53

Vertical Collectivism: 45.57143

Individualism: 84.64286

Collectivism: 98.57143

So it looks like we’re (you’re, actually–I didn’t include my own results in this) more collectivistic than we are individualistic. I don’t know if the difference is significant or not, though (I’m not a statistician).

Let’s see… what else can I tell you about our individualism and collectivism? Well, 7 people had collectivism scores over 100, and only 1 person had an individualism score over 100 (but that was one of the 7 people whose collectivism score was over 100, so that person seemed to agree with everything…).

You can see more details here: Table

Posted in cultural classifications, cultural patterns | Comments Off on Individualism and collectivism in our class

ICC books in the department library

Posted by thuicc on October 12, 2006

I have put several books in the FLLD department library. Take a look at them–just ask Sherry where they are!

  • Communicating Effectively with the Chinese by Ge Gao and Stella Ting-Toomey
  • The Hidden Dimension by Edward T. Hall
  • Beyond Culture by Edward T. Hall
  • You Just Don’t Understand! by Deborah Tannen
  • American Ways: A Guide for Foreigners in the United States by Gary Althen

More to come…

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Article about American culture

Posted by thuicc on October 12, 2006

A recent (well, not that recent) article on American Exceptionalism (the idea that the US is different in significant ways from other countries) appeared in Inside Higher Ed. In the article, the author interviews Eric Rauchway, a history professor in the US. Rauchway has written a book titled Blessed Among Nations: How the World Made America.

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Some sites related to cultural patterns

Posted by thuicc on October 12, 2006

Here are some sites related to the section of chapter 2 on cultural patterns

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Further information on “Mr. Lisa Goes to Washington”

Posted by thuicc on October 5, 2006

Information on this episode of The Simpsons can be found here. This show references a movie entitled Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, which is also about government corruption and someone who tries to stop it.

Wikipedia also has an article that summarizes this episode.

Posted in media, United States, websites | 1 Comment »