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ERIC Number: ED354563
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Oct
Pages: 19
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Merging the United States and Japan: Intercultural Communication in the Small Group Course. More than Cut and Paste: Integrating Cross-cultural Communication into the Curriculum.
Wolff, Leanne O.
The Japanese presence in the United States is growing rapidly in business and higher education. With many communication courses enrolling both Japanese and American students, the instructor is faced with a challenging opportunity: to institute course work in intercultural communication. However, when an intercultural course is not feasible, an emphasis on intercultural communication can be incorporated into the small group communication course. Instructors wishing to include intercultural materials should become familiar with current scholarship in the field. Three issues must be considered before planning the modifications for a course: (1) whether to use a culture-general or culture-specific approach; (2) the differing concepts of "group" in Japan and the United States; and (3) possible classroom activities and communication strategies to be emphasized. Culture-specific approaches, featuring a direct comparison of the two cultures, have merit. Japanese students often have some difficulty feeling comfortable as part of a group. This reflects the fact that Japanese and American assumptions about the structure, participation, and relationships in groups are quite different. Communication concepts worth emphasizing include ethnocentricity and stereotyping, Japanese-American differences, status, disclosure, decision-making strategies and conflict management. Adding an intercultural dimension to communication classes should be considered by all instructors of such courses. Twenty-four references and four appendixes (a questionnaire on stereotypes, a class activity on diversity, an assignment for small group communication, and a summary on conflict characteristics) are attached. (HB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Japan