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Understanding Culture

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Module Content
  • While the idea of culture can seem relatively straightforward, how we understand it has become quite a contested area in the study of intercultural communication. This module will give you a better understanding of the idea of culture.
  • In particular, you will be introduced to a range of conceptualisations of ‘culture’ that have been developed in different disciplinary areas. In this way, the module will enable you to gain a critical perspective on the views of culture so you can better understand your experience of communicating interculturally in everyday life and in the workplace.
  • The module will start by asking what culture is. It will go on to consider the idea of culture from three perspectives.
  • First, the perspective of social psychology considers culture as a set of values, beliefs and behaviours held and practised by individuals.
  • Secondly, sociological and anthropological perspectives consider culture more as a manifestation of groups, such as the nation state, community, or organisation.
  • Finally, cultural studies and poststructuralist perspectives view culture as a set of representations produced by discourse and other semiotic resources.
  • You will be exposed to these ideas through seminar presentations and selected readings.
  • You will be also encouraged to explore your own position in relation to these different perspectives critically, and with reference to your own intercultural work, through seminar discussion and within the course assignment.
  • 3000 words written assignment