ERIC Number: ED336765
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Teaching Intercultural Communication through the Hollywood Film: An Analysis of "Witness."
Films such as Peter Weir's 1985 film "Witness" can be used in intercultural communication classrooms to increase intercultural understanding, provide a substitute for experience, and compare cultures. In "Witness," an Amish boy witnesses the murder of an undercover narcotics agent. The investigating detective, the boy, and his widowed mother are forced to flee to the Amish country, and the film becomes an action-packed struggle of life and death interwoven with caring and forbidden love. Since before studying the communication patterns of another culture, students should understand their own cultural patterns, students complete cultural values sheets before viewing the film. In addition, students are asked to write what they know about the Amish and how they know it. While viewing the film, students are asked to note: (1) their perception of Amish culture; (2) their perception of American culture; (3) examples of cultural differences in communication; (4) their perception of the values of cultures depicted in the film; (5) what they learned; and (6) what the characters learned about the other culture. After viewing the film, differing cultural values and concepts of intercultural communication are discussed, using observations from the film, responses to the sheets mentioned, and value classification systems. Some concepts illustrated by this film are the idea of a subculture, the manifestation of cultural values, and cultural models for appropriate interpersonal communication. (Thirty-two references are attached.) (PRA)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Amish (Old Order); Communication Behavior; Witness (Film)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Communication Association (Pittsburgh, PA, April 25-28, 1991).