Integrative Project Guide
The integrative project gives you an opportunity to increase understanding of your desired or confirmed target study abroad site. Using this information, then consider how to understand yourself and your own culture in relation to your target site. This will ultimately help you leverage tools and concepts from the course to more positively communicate and interact with those culture(s). This project is based on the dialectic approach to intercultural communication which asks us to think about oppositions in culture and ourselves. There are two major components:
First, research your target site for some key information, make sure to try and investigate locally and regionally. For some questions, you may need to look at a national-level for information.
Next, based off of what you have learned, write about how you may interact with, fit in and/or be different than the culture(s) of the target site study abroad you’re going into. Then, answer the prompt pulling from both the research and critical reflection.
Directions for Course Project Step 3A: Integration (working draft- outline & works cited)
Please include both a detailed OUTLINE (1-3 pages) for your paper as well as your list of WORKS CITED to include both class readings and outside research resources, as appropriate.
Read all instructions below carefully and review the rubric below to ensure you are including what is required to receive maximum points for this assignment.
Step 3B Prompt: Describe how your own social identities and cultural value orientations may interact (in agreement with or in opposition to) the new cultures you will encounter while at your study abroad site.
This assignment will require you to explore the most interesting/applicable/relevant dialectics (discussed in the Richard Jones reading for week 7: Intercultural Communication (Links to an external site.)
) for YOU to explore in your new home abroad:
YOU + HOST SITE CULTURE = ???
(Step 1: Identity) (Step 2: Cultural frameworks & more) (Step 3: Integration)
Dialectics to explore include:
· History-Past / Present-Future
· Privilege / Disadvantage
· Differences / Similarities
· Personal / Contextual-Societal
This assignment will require you to do research on your host site. Here are some guiding questions you could consider as you conduct your research and explore these dialectics (you do not need to answer all of them, they’re meant to get you started in the right direction):
1. History/Past-Present/Future: How are some key historical events or movements of your study abroad site shaping and informing current events or movements? What past or current events in your own culture might impact how you interact or view others in the target site?
2. Privilege-Disadvantage: In what ways are some groups privileged? In what ways are some groups disadvantaged? What are the important historical and current waves of immigration? Who, if any, are indigenous peoples? In what ways might you be privileged or disadvantaged when you are abroad that are different than at home? Your social identity wheel and the
Social Identity and Country of Destination worksheet
may be of particular use to you on this question.
3. Static-Dynamic: What customs, norms, beliefs or value patterns seem to be more enduring? What new customs, norms, beliefs or value patterns seem to be emerging?
4. Differences-Similarities: What cultural similarities might you have with the host culture(s) at your target site, what differences? The Cultural Values Framework Chart
and Core Values Inventory worksheet
may be helpful.
5. Personal-Contextual: How might your social roles and interactions change? How might you be in opposition to your own culture’s norms, beliefs or values when abroad because of the beliefs and values of people at your study abroad site?
For each dialectic that you explore in your paper (2 minimum), you should include the following in your Step 3A: Outline:
1. Main points/arguments relevant to this dialectic & host site / YOU
1. Personal/applicable examples that explore “little c culture” of your host site. “Big C Culture” includes things like language, holidays, food and meal times, and other things that any casual tourist could observe; do NOT explore these, but rather some of the “little c culture” concepts we have explored in class/readings (think about values, beliefs, practices that would fall below the iceburg).
2. Relevant concepts from readings you will explore
3. List relevant reading(s) from class you’ll use to back up your conceptual argument and examples.
4. Articles/ readings/ podcasts that you will use to research/ explore your target host site.
5. Complete list of Works Cited.
Step 3B Additional Information
Use specific examples from your research and critical reflection to support your points. You are not required to address all of the dialectics from the guiding questions about the research or critical reflection, you can go more in depth on a few or more broadly on many of them.
You are encouraged to use some/any of the worksheets or exercises (Step 1: Identity paper, core values survey, Step 2 Frameworks analysis, cultural learning strategies, psychological intensity factors, etc.) from the course to inform your discussion.
The paper should be approximately 6-8 pages in length (Times New Roman, 12 pt. font, double-space, standard 1inch margins). Remember to properly cite any information from your research.
Notes on Sources and Research Tools:
Sources for your research on your target site do not have to be “academic” in nature, but they ought to be credible and reasonable without obvious intentional skewing. Please use your best judgment and critical thinking when deciding on sources, and always try and confirm information in another source.
Librarians at the AAC
National Government websites
Local or regional newspapers
Internet resources: CIA World Factbook – https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/resources/the-world factbook/index.html
Commisco-Global – https://www.commisceo-global.com/country-guides/ Wikipedia – example https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immigration_to_Sweden
Google Scholar – https://scholar.google.com
Cultural Insights – https://www.hofstede-insights.com/product/compare-countries/