Director: Clint Eastwood Length: 116 Minutes Rated: R
Walt Kowalski: Clint Eastwood Thao: Bee Vang
Sue: Ahney Her
Father Janovich: Christopher Carley Barber Martin: John Carroll Lynch Mitch Kowalski: Brian Haley
Communication Courses Communication Theory Intercultural Communication
Adapting to Diversity
Linguistic Divergence/Convergence Speech Codes Theory
Buoyed by critical acclaim and strong box office receipts, Gran Torino is a film your students know and likely have seen. The film provides several examples of adapting to cultural diversity, along with illustrating speech codes and linguistic divergence/convergence. The film is rated R for language throughout, and for some violence.
Eastwood plays Walt Kowalski, a retired autoworker and Korean War veteran living out his remaining days at his home. In Walt’s world, nothing is supposed to change: children should always respect their elders, a man should be able take care of his own home, and people should live with their own kind. Walt’s worldview changes dramatically when he gets to know his Hmong neighbors, and becomes an unwilling mentor to Thao, a young Hmong man in need of direction. Despite his crusty exterior and callous demeanor, Walt becomes both hero and savior for the entire neighborhood.
In this assignment, you will write a 3-5 page paper, which should include answering the discussion questions (listed below). Conceptualize and answer these questions under the light of intercultural communication. That means that the answers should tie in with the significance of intercultural communication, and how it has influenced the characters in this movie.
This paper should be written in an APA-Style format. Your paper will be evaluated on the following:
• Structure and mechanics
• Relevance to the topic(s)
***Each essay will be submitted to Turnitin.com, via the Dropbox link in Canvas.***
***Cover pages, abstracts, and works cited do not count towards the page count***
1. Analyze Walt’s process of adapting to cultural diversity (Ch. 4). Identify difference between Walt’s culture and the Hmong people.
2. Looking closely at Walt’s communications style, how would you describe his verbal communication skills versus of Thao and Sue? What are the meanings and purposes Walt attaches to talk?
3. How does Walt view friendship different than Thao and Sue? What strategies are different between them in initiating and maintaining friendships?
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