Skip to main content Skip to navigation

ET211: Culture and Interpersonal Relations


Why does intercultural misunderstanding occur in communication? Conversely, what do we need to know and do in order to be able to effectively build and maintain relationships across cultures? This module provides an introduction to the nature of the cultural expectations that shape how linguistic and non-linguistic behaviour is interpreted, how social attitudes shape our perceptions of self and other, and the various strategies by which rapport can be managed within the context of intercultural relations.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module, you will be able to:

  • Gain a critical understanding of concepts and theories associated with linguistic communication and interpersonal relations.
  • Analyse and interpret interactional data from a range of perspectives, considering the role of culture in the construction of meaning.
  • Develop the ability to view the management of interpersonal relations (particularly in intercultural contexts) through a multidisciplinary lens, considering the strengths and weaknesses of different theoretical and conceptual approaches

Learning Experience


Core content will be presented during weekly 2-hour lectures.


We will meet in a weekly 1-hour small-group seminar to practice and apply course concepts.



3000-word assignment (50%)


2-hour written examination (50%)

Preparatory Reading

  • Hinton, P.R. (2019). Stereotypes and the Construction of the Social World. Abingdon: Routledge.
  • Hua, Z. (2019). Exploring Intercultural Communication: Language in Action (Second Edition). New York: Routledge.
  • Spencer-Oatey, H. (2008). Culturally Speaking: Culture, Communication and Politeness Theory (2nd Edition). London: Bloomsbury.