Expository Co-Cultural Essay
For this assignment, you will create your own list of co-cultures with which you identify and then write an expository essay explaining how these cultural groups influence your communication with those who may be outside of your co-cultures.
To begin your Assignment, think about the co-cultures with which you identify. Review page 12 of the text in which the authors provide an example of co-cultures by describing a woman named Anna who identifies herself as an American, a Native American, a Navajo, a Midwesterner, a married woman, a mother, a lawyer, a person with a yearly income of over $100,000, and a Catholic.
As you think about your co-cultures, think about the following questions:
- To how many cultural groups do you relate?
- Does one take prominence in terms of personal importance?
- Would you be comfortable limiting yourself to only one co-culture?
- Why/ why not?
How we describe ourselves and the groups that we identify with is a significant aspect of understanding intercultural communication since we do not belong to just one cultural group. It is also important to note that culture is not just a racial or ethnic designation.
Once you have identified your co-cultures, you can begin writing your expository essay explaining how these cultural groups influence your communication with those who may be outside of your co-cultures. Your essay must include the following:
- List the co-cultures you identify with and would use to describe yourself.
- Explain which co-culture is the dominant one; the one you would use to describe yourself the most.
- Explain why you would or would not be comfortable limiting yourself to one co-culture as a description.
- Briefly explain how these co-cultures might influence your communication with those outside of your co-cultures.
Each essay should include:
- A title page
- The body of the essay (900-1200 words; the word count does not include the title or reference page)
- A reference page
- Use standard margins: 1″ on all sides
- Use standard 12-point font size, Times New Roman or Arial
- Use standard double-spacing
- Use left-aligned text, do not right-justify
Your essay should follow the conventions of APA style, including a minimum of two parenthetical citations (one of which can be your textbook, and the remaining from other sources). You must demonstrate college-level communication through the composition of original materials in Standard English. For additional writing help, please visit the Writing Center. The link to the Writing Center can be found on each Unit Home page under Academic Tools.
Submit Your Assignment
Compose your assignment in a Word document, edit carefully and use Standard English. Save it in a location and with a name that you will remember. When you are ready to submit it, go to the dropbox and complete the steps below:
- Click the link that says “Submit an Assignment”
- In the “Submit to Basket” menu, select Unit 7: Assignment
- In the “Comments” field, make sure to add at least the title of your essay
- Click the “Add Attachments” button
- Follow the steps listed to attach your Word document
- To view your graded work, come back to the Dropbox or go to the Gradebook after your instructor has evaluated it
Make sure that you save a copy of your assignment.
Communication Is Linked to Culture
If you’ve ever traveled abroad, or even through the different neighborhoods of a large city, you know that communication is difficult to separate from culture. Culture refers to the shared beliefs, values, and practices of a group of people. A group’s culture includes the language (or languages) and other symbols used by group members as well as the norms and rules about how behavior can appropriately be displayed and understood.
Cultural groups vary in scale, and most people are members of several co-cultures simultaneously. Co-cultures are smaller groups of people within a culture who are distinguished by features such as race, religion, age, generation, political affiliation, gender, sexual orientation, economic status, educational level, occupation, and a host of other factors. Consider Anna, who identifies with a number of co-cultures: she is an American, an African American, a mid-westerner, a married lawyer with two children, a person with an income over $100,000 a year, a Democrat, and a Baptist. Each of these co-cultures carries different meanings for Anna and affects her communication, not only in terms of the languages she speaks, but also in how she presents herself to others and how she interprets others’ behavior (Chen & Starosta, 1996). Cultural identities can even form around interests and hobbies. For example, a music critic at Blender magazine might make distinctions among rock, soul, and hip-hop and might even break those styles down further, using terms like old-school, freestyle, classic, punk, techno, and R&B. For someone less involved or less interested in the music scene, such distinctions might seem unimportant—it’s all just popular music.