The program will be divided in three parts: communication; culture and behaviour; principles and practices of intercultural communication. This structure is intended to allow everybody to attend the class, introducing the basic skills of the program and trying to stimulate a critical approach to daily life interactions.
In the first part (1st to 10th hour), I will introduce students to the main aspects of interpersonal communication: verbal and non-verbal communication, emotions, active listening, speaking, conversation, proxemic, kinesis. Frontal lectures will be provided to illustrate how the communication has pragmatic effects on relationships and identities. Examples from movies, journalism and experience will be provided and discussed in the classroom.
Secondly (11th to 20th hour), we will discuss the topics of identity, culture and pluralism. Students will be engaged in team activities to enlighten and criticize some given-for-granted aspects of their cultural background. The aim of this second part is to understand how identity, otherisation and representation work together in our experience and how biases influence our interactions with different types of others. Moreover, in an intersectional perspective, students will be invited to discuss how different collective identities are melted in their experience.
Thirdly we will focus on the principles and practices of intercultural communication (21th-36th hour). Experimental class activities will be aimed at deconstructing stereotypes, learning to manage interpersonal conflicts, recognising and accepting misunderstandings as normal outcomes of any interpersonal communication. We will consider the risks and sources of misunderstanding in intercultural communication, i.e. misexpression, misperception, misframing, misidentification. Finally, we will approach intercultural communication in practice providing examples deriving from past research experiences in cultural mediation, housing mediation and secondary data on mediation in health and in education. Students will be asked to suggest practical solutions to intercultural conflicts of different kinds and will present journal articles concerning the problems of intercultural mediation.
Expected learning outcomes
- Recognising cultural differences in speaking and communicating;
- Learning to deal with intercultural communication in complex societies
- Developing creative strategies of conflict resolution;
- Familiarize with cultural mediation and knowing its limits and critical features.
_Introduction to Communication
_Functions and meaning of non-verbal communication
_Verbal Communication as a Pragmatic Activity
_Perception and bias
_Identity as interaction: ego-alter relationship, differentiation and imitation
_Identity as representation: media, symbols and discourse
_Culture and subjectivity: against over- and under-estimation of culture
_Approaching intercultural communication: identification, stereotypes, representations.
_Active learning and situational competence
_Creative approaches to conflict resolution
_Experiences of multicultural communication in organisational settings.
60% Logbook of weekly readings and presentations
20% Classroom exercises
20% Final exam.
Lectures will be based on the contents of the following two books:
Holliday A., Hyde M. and John Kullman, Intercultural Communication. An Advanced Resource Book, Routledge, 2017, last edition.
Wood Julia T. Interpersonal communication. Everyday encounters, Boston: Cengage, 2016, 8th ed.
The professor will also provide Power Point slides summarizing the content of the course and additional material for the class work. The reading of the books is then considered as optional.
No previous knowledge required.