Personal Statement in Communication Studies Term Paper

Pages: 3 (933 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Communication

Personal Statement

Describe the communication theories, philosophies, and research areas you find compelling. What is it about these ideas that you find most interesting?

Imagine this scenario: a competent, intelligent and forcefully speaking woman stands in the hallway, engaged in a professional debate with a male colleague. This woman has learned, through the process of her undergraduate education and from various assertiveness training courses, how to comport herself in an articulate fashion, using direct statements of address, and never apologizing for her expressed opinions. She speaks, she hopes, not like a man but to a man in a way that he will take her opinions seriously. She hopes she still retains her identity as a woman without compromising her professional ethics. Yet she is filled with a creeping awareness that her colleague is not listening to her and does not take her seriously in this interpersonal scenario -- but she does not know why?

Imagine another situation. A Japanese and a Lebanese businessman are engaged in a discussion over the boardroom table during a complex series of negotiations. Their translators are competent, and the Lebanese man has been warned beforehand that quite often a Japanese 'maybe' is an emphatic 'no,' and the Japanese man has been told that quite often his Arab friend will say 'no' when he means 'yes,' as a way of traditional bargaining common to Middle Eastern and Mediterranean society. In fact, the Lebanese man may argue, even in agreement, simply as a cultural style and method of expression.

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Yet despite their mutual awareness of their cultural differences, both men walk away from the table feeling dissatisfied with what has just transpired. The Lebanese man feels as if the discussion was circuitous, the Japanese man feels bombarded and imposed upon by the way that his colleague expressed himself during this round of negotiations. He was prepared to be disappointed, but not quite this bruised and battered, in terms of his ego.

Term Paper on Personal Statement in Communication Studies Assignment

These puzzles in communication show that current research regarding gender and cultural differences in communication, including different gender styles and cultural styles of expression, while compelling, leaves out a fundamental element. That element is nonverbal communication. Nonverbal communication is often giving a passing reference in texts, perhaps because it is so difficult to quantify and address in print. But in modern life, conversationally and professionally, much takes place on a sub-textual level, rather than an overt, denotative, level, and what gives modern dialogue its most profound subtext is body language.

Because body language is so little regarded in academic settings and writings, and even in many verbal 'empowerment' courses, an individual can be well versed in talking the talk of the other gender or culture he or she is interacting with, but not walking the walk, so to speak.

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