This major paper is meant to reveal your ability to study the communication tendencies of a culture, interpret and describe those tendencies according to cultural characteristics discussed in class and then compare the communication of your culture to this particular culture. The papers ought to be around 1800 words and cite at least 8 different sources. You must have at least 2 scholarly article citations and at least 2 citations from books and/or our textbook. Probably the rest will be web sources. In the paper, present the culture and give necessary background information. This section should be less than a quarter of the paper, but needs to let the reader know what the culture is, where it is located, who the people are (any tribal or micro cultural qualities), what language(s) is used, relevant history of the culture, and the most salient qualities of the culture.
The next section, at least half the paper, will be about the characteristics of the culture and its elements and how they are transformed into communication choices in the culture. You may choose to deal with many of the culture characteristics, contexts, values, and codes that we have talked about in class, but you may also specialize on just a couple of characteristics (collectivism, power distance, uncertainty avoidance, etc.) or values (family, nature, etc.) Describe the relevant cultural characteristics and then demonstrate their communication counterparts in terms of roles, and verbal and nonverbal code evidence. Pictures, stories, experiences, and related artifacts could be very useful in presenting the communication counterparts to the characteristics of the culture. All of this is most efficiently organized to flow with the paper’s final section.
The last section consists of your comparing and contrasting the culture under study with your own. What are the most striking similarities and differences in terms of the communication and meaning process between the two cultures? Where will the two cultures probably be able to communication smoothly with the fewest problems in terms of misinterpretations? (There may actually be no such situations.) Conversely where might the problems be? What will one culture do or assume that will be quite different, hurtful, and insulting to the other? From these analyses what do people in your culture need to be careful about and how do they need to change so as to get the most from intercultural communication with the culture you have presented?
In terms of citations, when a source is cited, it must include either the page number (in the case of paper sources) or the paragraph number (in the case of a web pager) where the relevant information came from. Further, no more than 15% of the paper can be verbatim material from other source, and all of this must be appropriately quoted.
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