Social and cultural codes in interpersonal communication, with special reference to contemporary American subcultural groups and their communication patterns.
The underlying premise of this course is that whenever people speak with each other, they use and reveal culture. What sense people make with each other, what they understand themselves to be saying and doing, how they organize their lives and how they organize their relations with other people are all intricately tied to systems of acquired symbols, meanings, premises, and rules. In turn, whenever people communicate, they reveal a culture -- they reveal “codes” of what it means to be a person, how persons can relate to each other, and what their view of the world is.
Student learning goals
explain a “cultural approach” to communication.
articulate the basic underlying principles of the theory of the ethnography of communication
hear speaking as an activity through which individuals identify themselves with communities of discourse
see the United States of America as a diverse society and how this diversity is reflected in patterns of communicative conduct
apply a cultural approach to course readings, movies, class exercises and assignments, and your general interactions with other people.
General method of instruction
Instruction is approximately 1/2 lecture, 1/2 discussion.
lower level communication course would be helpful, but is not required.
Class assignments and grading
Written reading preparation, short answer & essay exams, term paper.