IC 215 - Intercultural Communication
We often feel that we are misunderstood or that we cannot express ourselves properly, yet we also have the impression that, especially in everyday matters, we get along pretty successfully; we also know that e.g. a good poem expresses far more than it actually says. So, how is it with human communication, with meaning (both with what we mean and what sentences do), especially if people of diverse cultures interact? Do we say less, or more than we intend? The course will explore this problem. We will begin by examining various levels of communication as subjects of academic study in the 20th and 21st century: we will start with the meaning of the sentence, then we shall study speech-acts, discourse(text), and sign-language. Moving from text to context, we will interpret culture as the largest context against the background of which meaning may unfold in the richest possible way. We will use Austrian, Hungarian and American phenomena as test-cases to study the various cultures of school and games, of everyday matters (eating, drinking, socialising), of home, of basic human relationships (family, friendship, partnership), and, finally, the problem of the media, including the Internet, all these from a historical, sociological and psychological point of view. The course is designed to help students develop their cultural awareness, as well as their communicative skills.