Congratulations to Dr Karen Anderson Lain for her latest publication! | Communication Studies

COVID-19 updates—In an effort to keep everyone healthy, UNT's on-campus operations are closed until further notice. We're serving students remotely. Please stay connected. Stay up to date on UNT’s response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

Have you registered for summer and fall classes yet? While COVID-19 has created some uncertainty for us all, UNT is committed to helping the Mean Green family turn dreams into reality. Let’s get through this together!

Register for classes on my.unt.edu
Not a UNT student yet? Apply to UNT
Having trouble registering? Get help from an advisor

May 4, 2017

Congratulations to Dr Karen Anderson Lain for her latest publication!

In "Cultural identity forum: Enacting the self-awareness imperative in intercultural communication" the objective states "students will demonstrate the self-awareness imperative in intercultural communication, explore their own cultural identities, and reflect on others cultural identities in order to build their intercultural communication competence."

"Researchers have maintained that identity is a key area of the study of intercultural communication (Jackson, 2002 Jackson II, R. L. (2002). Cultural contacts theory: Toward an understanding of identity negotiation. Communication Quarterly, 50, 359-367. Retrieved from http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/rcqu20/ doi: 10.1080/01463370209385672[Taylor & Francis Online], [Google Scholar]; Kim, 2009 Kim, Y. Y. (2009). The identity factor in intercultural competence. In D. Deardorff (Ed.), The sage handbook of intercultural competence (pp. 53-65). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. [Google Scholar]; Ting-Toomey, 2005 Ting-Toomey, S. (2005). Identity negotiation theory: Crossing cultural boundaries. In W. B. Gudykunst (Ed.), Theorizing about intercultural communication (pp. 211-223). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. [Google Scholar]). Furthermore, Martin and Nakayama (2013 Martin, J. N., & Nakayama, T. K. (2013). Intercultural communication in contexts (6th ed.). New York: McGraw Hill. [Google Scholar]) argued that one of the most important reasons to study intercultural communication is to raise awareness of our own cultural identity and background. In this brief essay, I outline a Cultural Identity Forum assignment, which challenges students to explore their cultural identity and examine the cultural identities of their fellow students. The goal of the Cultural Identity Forum assignment is for students to demonstrate self-reflexivity of their cultural identities. The assignment is specifically designed to engage students in questioning their assumptions about cultural differences through the self-awareness imperative. The self-awareness imperative for studying intercultural communication challenges students to explore their ethnocentric thinking, their social and economic position in society, and their privilege.

I frame the class discussion of the self-awareness imperative (and the class generally) around three theoretical approaches to intercultural communication. Intercultural scholars have approached the study of intercultural communication from three distinct but at times related theoretical approaches: social science, interpretative, and critical (Martin & Nakayama, 2013 Martin, J. N., & Nakayama, T. K. (2013). Intercultural communication in contexts (6th ed.). New York: McGraw Hill. [Google Scholar]; Ting-Toomey, 2010 Ting-Toomey, S. (2010). Applying dimensional values in understanding intercultural communication. Communication Monographs, 77, 169-180. doi:10.1080/03637751003790428[Taylor & Francis Online], [Web of Science ®], [Google Scholar]). Martin and Nakayama (2013 Martin, J. N., & Nakayama, T. K. (2013). Intercultural communication in contexts (6th ed.). New York: McGraw Hill. [Google Scholar]) explained that students could build their cultural self-awareness of their identity from each of these theoretical approaches. From a social-science perspective, individuals create identity by the self through relation to various groups. Markus and Kitayama (1991 Markus, H. R., & Kitayama, S. (1991). Culture and self: Implication for cognition, emotion, and motivation. Psychological Review, 98, 224-253. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/rev/ doi: 10.1037/0033-295X.98.2.224[CrossRef], [Web of Science ®], [CSA], [Google Scholar]) claimed that identity is a self-construal. They explained that one's self-image is composed of an independent self that includes one's feelings, cognitions, and motivations and an interdependent self that is concerned with ingroup obligations and connectedness. Ting-Toomey (2010 Ting-Toomey, S. (2010). Applying dimensional values in understanding intercultural communication. Communication Monographs, 77, 169-180. doi:10.1080/03637751003790428[Taylor & Francis Online], [Web of Science ®], [Google Scholar]) argued that how we conceive self-image could have a profound influence on how we construct meaning, form relationships, and understand cultural differences.

In contrast, interpretative scholars focus on how identity is formed through our communication with others, examining the ways in which identity is ascribed in communication interactions (Martin & Nakayama, 2013 Martin, J. N., & Nakayama, T. K. (2013). Intercultural communication in contexts (6th ed.). New York: McGraw Hill. [Google Scholar]). Ting-Toomey's (2005 Ting-Toomey, S. (2005). Identity negotiation theory: Crossing cultural boundaries. In W. B. Gudykunst (Ed.), Theorizing about intercultural communication (pp. 211-223). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. [Google Scholar]) identity negotiation theory focuses on the ways in which identity is constructed in our interaction with one another. In this way, identity is expressed via communication in the symbols, labels, and norms that define identity. For example, Hecht, Jackson, and Ribeau (2003 Hecht, M. L., Jackson, R. L., & Ribeau, S. A. (2003). African American communication: Exploring identity and culture (2nd ed.). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. [Google Scholar]) explored how core symbols are associated with ethnic identities.

Furthermore, a critical scholar would argue that identify is shaped through social and historical forces. Scholars taking this perspective examine the ways in which contexts such as history, economics, politics, and discourse inform identity formation (Martin & Nakayama, 2013 Martin, J. N., & Nakayama, T. K. (2013). Intercultural communication in contexts (6th ed.). New York: McGraw Hill. [Google Scholar]). Critical scholars are concerned with the ways in which societal structures constrain identity and reinforce systems of oppression and social injustice (Collier, 2005 Collier, M. J. (2005). Theorizing cultural identification: Critical updates and continuing evolution. In W. B. Gudykunst (Ed.), Theorizing about intercultural communication (pp. 235-256). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. [Google Scholar]). For example, Yep (2013 Yep, G. A. (2013). Queering/quaring/kauering/crippin'/transing "other bodies" in intercultural communication. Journal of International and Intercultural Communication, 6, 118-126. doi: 10.1080/17513057.2013.777087[Taylor & Francis Online], [Google Scholar]) examined the theoretical and political tensions of queer and transgender bodies in South Africa to explore queer identity of "other bodies."

The three theoretical approaches to identity were discussed in depth in class in conjunction with the assignment. Students did not have to state explicitly which theoretical approach they took in developing their project. However, they did have to explain how their creative choices reflect their identity and what factors influenced their identity development, and identify communication practices important to their identity development/practice."

If you want to read the full article go to: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17404622.2017.1314529