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COMMUNICATING ACROSS CULTURES, IDENTITIES AND DIFFERENCES (4 cr.)
In the 21st century, individuals continue to be marginalized because of their differences. The existence of racism, sexism, homophobia and religious discrimination indicate that the categories separating individuals from one another fuel acts of hatred, oppression and degradation, but why? What makes such discrimination possible? How do categories of people come to be seen as “different”? How does being “different” affect people’s lived experience? What meaning does difference have at the level of the individual, social institution or culture? What difference does difference make? This class will answer these questions by studying how communication plays a significant role in the construction of cultures, identities and differences. Through such an inquiry you will learn how social, political, economic, racial, sexual, cultural and geographic differences impact the process of communication and consequently, cause conflict between groups and individuals that belong to different social categories. Through studying how cultures, identities and differences impact communication, we will develop strategies for effectively and ethically participating in an increasingly diverse cultural landscape. Also offered as WOST and CRST. Prerequisites: Junior standing.