COMM 340 – Intercultural Communication

  • Discipline(s): Communication & Journalism

  • Credits: 3

  • Available: fall semester 2024, spring semester 2025

  • Instructor: Francesca Passeri, Ph.D., Marco Bracci Ph.D.

  • Taught in: English

Formerly COMM 432 – Intercultural Communication

In the contemporary and globalized world, characterized by conflicts and by increasing processes of distinction, dealing with intercultural differences is a fundamental skill for each human being. This course will explore the importance of communication in our contemporary society as a key process to pursue knowledge and nurture mutual understanding. The role of intercultural communication will be analyzed and discussed as a strategic tool that we should learn to use in order to better comprehend what is our role in the world. The students will learn about Intercultural Communication theoretical models and practical ways of applying these in order to develop intercultural skills as a ‘global citizen.’

Students will critically deal with a variety of substantive fields of application of intercultural communication principles, such as the media, fashion, food, tourism, music etc. and they will analyze the relationship between communication, culture and identity change.
Students will be encouraged to engage critically with questions around communication across different cultures, through research and writing.

The course will challenge students to perceive and understand human diversity by exploring diversity within a context of constantly changing global systems, and also to answer to the following question: how do people understand one another when they do not share a common cultural experience?
Students will be encouraged to apply theoretical skills to reality and to their own experience as human beings living abroad, and to analyze Italian culture and Florence as study subjects as well.
During the course, students will be encouraged to express their positions and ideas through writings, presentations and in-class discussion.

Based on opportunities available in Florence, the course will try to fully integrate the students’ abroad experience in their learning process.
The use of several educational tools, such as readings, visits, lectures, guest lectures, will allow students to understand how different theoretical perspectives approach problems related to communication between/among different cultures.

Knowledge and understanding
After completing the course, students are expected to be able to:
– contrast, describe, and explain intercultural communication in different fields of social activity
– analyze and discuss processes behind intercultural incidents within different fields of social activity
– understand and evaluate the effects of global interconnectedness and global social, economic and political systems on local societies and cultures and/or on the natural environment

Skills and abilities
After completing the course, students are expected to be able to:
– analyze intercultural communication within different fields of activity (business, education, sport, food, fashion)
– apply intercultural communication models to practical situations (such as critical incidents, culture shock)
– to reflect upon ways in which personal and social identities are increasingly linked to communication
– take full advantage of their experience in Florence using the city as a learning tool in order to live a deep intercultural experience.

Course descriptions may be subject to occasional minor modifications at the discretion of the instructor.

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