COM 200 Relationship Perceptions and Formation Essay

Relationship Perceptions and Formation
You are an intercultural consultant. Below is an intercultural situation that requires your expertise and insight. Analyze the following situation, considering American and Mexican factors.

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(Use the culturegram for information on Mexico.) Answer the questions below by typing your answers in Microsoft Word, with complete sentences and double spacing. Your goal is to provide some understanding and possible solutions to assist in helping communication become more effective.

Use the textbook, notes from class, and culturegram to analyze.
Mention concepts from class in your analysis. This project is comprehensive, meaning you will need to analyze concepts from the entire semester. Several points are important to take into consideration when doing a case study:

1. Culture has many layers. Analyze the surface situation, but also go deeper into the values, beliefs, and norms affecting the cultures involved.

2. Application of concepts is important. Refer to the concepts we have studied this semester and try to make connections between the case story, the cultures involved, and the names of the concepts we have learned.


1. Read the story. Read any attached information about the culture. 2. Look for any ideas that seem to be issues or conflicts in the story. 3. Brainstorm the answers to the questions the case asks.

4. Try to use as many concepts, definitions, vocabulary words, or whatever else we have studied where appropriate in your analysis. Case studies will always connect to the readings and what we are talking about in class.

5. Write answers to the questions, being as thorough as possible.
If the question asks for the values of the culture, try to identify as many as possible, not just one or two. 6. Make the paper neat.

Type in Microsoft Word and submit through the link in Blackboard under this Assignment folder. You can number the answers, but write your essay help in complete sentences and paragraphs. 7. It is fine to use outside sources for cultural information. Make sure to cite any sources if quotes are used.
1. In-depth Analysis: how much into deep culture did you get? Values, Beliefs, Norms, Concepts, etc.

2. Thoroughness: how many concepts did you identify?

3. Application: did you use the names of concepts from class? (Ex.–proxemics; collectivism; high power distance, etc.) 4. Accuracy: was your analysis accurate?

5. Solutions: did you present some creative ideas for problem-solving?

6. Impartiality: did you analyze in a non-ethnocentric fashion?

7. Comprehension: did the case analysis reflect that the student has an understanding of the important concepts of the class and how to use them? 8. Neatness, Writing, Spelling/grammar and Turned in on time?

Upon graduating college with a degree in English education with a Spanish minor, Rick Meyers accepted a position teaching English in a fairly large and progressive coeducational school in Merida, Mexico, capital city of the state of Yucatan. He had met the language director earlier that year while on a spring recess tour of Mexico and felt quite comfortable with him.

Eager to start the new school year off right, Rick spent a considerable amount of time in preparation of lessons and materials and in extra-help sessions with students. It seemed as if he was always doing something school related, often spending his lunch hour, free periods, and after-school hours with small groups of students.

Not only did Rick feel he was getting his work done, he knew he was making a good impression with his supervisor and teaching colleagues.
Early in Rick’s time in Merida he visited Juan’s home, a colleague, at his invitation.

Not wanting to wear out his welcome, he declined when Juan offered him a beverage and tried to keep the visit short. His school projects were waiting for him at home, as well as all his other tasks. Although his relationships with the students were growing, after the first few weeks, Rick noticed that his fellow teachers seemed cold and removed.

He was seldom invited to after-school and weekend get-togethers or sought out during free times at school. Not sure what to make of this, Rick kept more and more to him self, feeling increasingly lonely and rejected.

How does this situation illustrate the concept, “global village”? Give examples. What is an example of the iceberg of culture that can be seen in this story? Be specific. What value clashes are seen in this story between U.S. and Mexican cultures? Be specific. Refer to the 5 cultural patterns by Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck from the pink pages, p. 8-9, of the COM 200 study guide.

Choose two and analyze how the cultures are different from each other regarding the 2 patterns you have identified. Analyze the potential “World View” differences between the Mexicans and American in this story. See pink pages 10-13.
Refer to the 4 Hofstede Concepts from chapter 6 and the pink pages p. 13-14. Choose 3 to analyze in this story. Describe any OTHER belief, value, or conceptual differences seen in this story. Discuss any other potential problems you perceive.

Refer to the “Potential Barriers of Communication Between Cultures” list in the yellow section of the study guide. Choose two that you see as problems in this story and analyze them. What language and/or nonverbal problems are seen in this story? Be specific.

Discuss the potential role of culture shock in this story. Discuss the relationship concepts from the orange pages, such as face, uncertainty reduction, competence, adaptation, communication issues, etc. Pick two concepts from this unit and analyze here. What are your recommendations to remedy the relationship and build
Competence between Rick and the Mexican teachers? Try to think of ideas that can be done from this point forward, not what should have been done before Rick went to Mexico. Be creative and specific.

Item Culturegram on Mexico Attached Files: File Mexico-Report-World.pdf (2.493 MB) Attached here is a PDF file with the Culturegram about Mexico, to use for your project. If the font is too small, go to the top of the window and change the percentage that you are using to view the document. Try choosing 100% or higher.

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