CMN2130 Exam Review
Ch.12 Intercultural Communication
A person’s culture shapes his/her communication practices; therefore, it is
important to be aware of cultural differences when trying to communicate.
Culture is pervasive. We will live and work with people from different cultures.
Understanding our differences/similarities is important to getting along
Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions Model
Geert Hofstede studied the cultural attitude of nations through his analysis of
atitudinal data collected by IBM from their staff in 71 countries between 1967 and
He came up with 4 distinct dimensions (a 5 was added in 1991)
1. Power Distance (PDI)
• Refers to how members of a culture react to unequal distribution of power
• Low PDI cultures minimize differences between social cases and in high
PDI cultures social hierarchy and social status is important.
• Hofstede asserted that individuals posses unequal power in societies with
igh PDI and in these societies people tend to avoid disobeying the
• Case Study: the pilot and the first officer and obeying rules vs. stepping in.
2. Individualism and Collectivism
• Difference is the value that each culture places on an individuals
separateness and uniqueness
• Individualism: People look after themselves and their immediate family
only; in this culture individual rights are important and respected.
• Collectivism: People belong to groups that look after them in exchange for
loyalty; in this culture, people act in small communities where personal
choices/needs are considered less important and people have less control
over their personal lives.
3. Masculinity and Femininity
• Masculinity: represents a small preference in society for achievement,
heroism, assertiveness and material reward for success. Society at large is
more competitive. A wider gender difference is encouraged in these
socities (Ex, Men are expected to be tough and women modest)
• Femininity: Shows a preference for cooperation, modesty, caring for the
weak and quality if life. Society is more consensusoriented.
4. Uncertainty Avoidance (UAI)
• Expresses the degree to which the members of society feel uncomfortable
with uncertainty and ambiguity
• Countries exhibiting high UAI maintain rigid codes of belief and
behaviour and strict laws and regulations. The ideological philosophy of such societies is to believe in absolute truth. In other words, belief that
“there can only be one truth and we have it”.
• Countries with low UAI, uncertainty is seen as a part of life and not seen
as a threat. Religious philosophy is based on “empiricism and relativism”
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3 dimensions of Intercultural Communication
1. Degree of context in different forms of communication. Example, low context
cultures rely heavily on language to communicate logically and clearly. High
context cultures would place a greater value on nonverbal ques.
2. Differences between individualistic and collectivistic cultures.
3. Power distance. (High power distance cultures value authority)
Culture: is not agreed upon completely, however components that remain across
definitions include patterns of values, beliefs, and behaviours, shared by an identifiable
group of people with a common history and a verbal and nonverbal symbol system.
Ch. 13 Family of Origin Influences
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Family Origin: A group of people related by blood or marriage or a strong
common bond, such as those descended from a common ancestor, or a
husband/wife and their children.
Life Course The approach that focuses on the stage of life that exposure to health
promoting harmful influences and the duration of the exposure to these
Family Patterns The way family is structured/organized. These include single
parent, nuclear family, stepfamily and extended family.
Gender Roles: The overt expression of attitudes that indicate to others the degree
of your maleness/femaleness.
Social Influence Occurs when others affect ones emotion, opinions, or
behaviours. It takes many forms and can be seen in conformity, socialization,
peerpressure, obedience, leadership, persuasion, sales and marketing.
1. What Factors that do NOT affect Family of Origin? C. Literature. Ones that do
include Ethnic Heritages, Biological/genetic factors, and Religion.
2. What are things that do NOT travel between people via Family of Origin
influences? B. Immune deficiencies. Things that do are language terms,
idiosyncrasies, and how families deal with things such as losses and conflicts.
3. How many primary functions are there? 2: Cohesion and Adaptability 4. Are Family of Origin influences strictly biological? False, they are alse due to
ethnic heritage and religion as well as a number of other verbal communication
factors such as idiosyncrasies and language terms.
Growing up Masculine v. Feminine (2 approaches)
1. First approach(Gender Role approach): Gender roles are considered to be distinct
and men and women are products of different social roles. Biologically focused,
ex. Men tend to have more muscle mass than women.
Toy Selection, girl toys v. boy toys. Neutral toys have the most physical, cognitive,
artistic skills for children.
Researches concluded that strongly gendertypes toys appear to be less supportive
of optimal development
Traditional Girl Gender traits: Caring, gentle, passive, dependent, nurturing,
emotional, polite, quiet, loving
Traditional Boy Gender traits: tough, strong, aggressive, objective, independent,
unemotional, loud, sexual
Both: Hard working
2. Second approach (Social Construction Model): gender is socially constructed and
embodies cultural norms. CMN students lean towards this model.
We are not born with predetermined abilities, interests, and traits.
SC view suggests that these are created through our expectations, ideas, and
norms. Education, family, and media influence them.
What does it mean to be masculine?
1. Don’t be female
2. Be successful
3. Be aggressive
4. Be sexual
5. Be selfreliant
6. Embody and transcend traditional views of masculinity; pressure to be manly and
new manly (emotional and contribute to the home). This creates conflict and
tensions leading to uncertainty.
What does it mean to be Feminine?
1. Appearance still counts
2. Be sensitive and caring
3. Experience negative treatment
4. Be superwoman
5. There is no single meaning of feminine anymore. We can expect a shift toward a growing recognition of the right to defy gender
roles and engage in gender fluidity. (Defying now is lesbian, gay, transgender, and
nonconforming gender people)
Describe the concept of the gender spectrum and explain how it differs from the
concept of the gender binary.
The gender spectrum gives everyone the opportunity to choose and discover their
own gender identity, while the gender binary classifies each person into two
categories, either female or masculine. The gender spectrum is more open, it does
not put people into boxes. On the contrary, the gender binary does not accept any
other variations of gender identity, only the two commonly accepted by society.
For example, transgendered and gay or lesbian people will not be accepted in the
gender binary concept, but they will be in the gender spectrum concept.
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Ch.15 Relationship Stages
Making yourself seen to the other person, making eye contact
When first contact is made
Making an impression (good one if possible), making ourselves likeable to the
Physical aspects are important
Light talk is made in order to evaluate if the relationship an go further
Song: call me maybe Carly Rae Jepsen
The experimenting stage of the relational developmental model tests out topics of
conversation to seek common ground.
Probing stage because each person probes the other for information that would
allow them to further the social connection between them
This stage can last a long time, even years
Song: Getting to know you The king and I
One is finding more and more about each other, spending a lot of time together
and falling more deeply for that person than you were in the previous stages
Building on common interests and looking for expression and reciprocity of
More and deeper self disclosure
Statements are being made about the level of commitment each has to the
Song: Everything has changed – Taylor swift
Doing more things together status as a couple is confirmed Acknowledgement each other (‘we’ language)
Committed to each other
Scheduling plans together
Song: Feel so Close Calvin Harris
Takes a symbolic form in the relationship. This may consist of rituals, mutual
history or any material objects that making their status known
This is the highest stage you can get to before the decent in a relationship. We turn
to each other for confirmation and self acceptance
Committed to maintain the relationship
There are public displays of affection to let others know that you are part of the
relationship (marriages, joint bank account, kids)
Song: Marry me – Jason Derulo
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Ch. 17 Expressing Affection
In interpersonal relationships we have different ways to communicate and
interpret caring messages
We learn about sharing affection from our familiesoforigin and this is where we
learn our affection vocabulary.
As we encounter new ways of expressing caring, this increases our affection
In order for a partner to effectively communicate caring, both parties have to
understand and value affectionate behaviours in similar ways.
We all have different ways of sharing affection, and we all don’t see them the
same way; therefore, both parties must understand it in similar ways for it to be
Families teach children how to express affection, through their familyoforigin.
Some children choose to adopt the families rule about affection, whereas others
deliberately reject their family’s ways
3 relational currencies (communicative behaviours that convey affection)
1. Direct relational statements: I love you; you’re amazing, etc.
Oral/written messages that directly indicate love/caring
Humor is a safe way to share feelings for hesitant individuals
Important in all relationships, especially family.
2. Selfdisclosure: Saying I love you for the first time, etc.
Telling someone personal information that he/she is unlikely to know
Involves risks (rejects, use it against, damage relationship
Based on the history of trust in the relationship
Intimacy is deepened when both parties disclose equally
Different ideas about the importance of gifts can cause misunderstandings Giving gifts usually comes with an expectation of equal reciprocity
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Ch.18 Face Management (No S/A)
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Our communication creates a “relationship culture” in which we develop our own
language, symbols, jokes, patterns of talking, and ways of behaving and thinking.
Our rituals play a role in building and maintaining our relationship culture.
What is a Ritual?
Rituals are communicative actions that pay respect to a person or object that is
They are recurring, patterned forms of communication between two or more
individuals which hold symbolic significance for those parties
In this way, they contribute to the creating and reflection of relational cultures
A ritu are recurring patterned forms of communication between two or more
individuals which hold symbolic significant to the parties involved while a routine
is an activity or behaviour predictably enacted by family members. All in all,
rituals are routines that have symbolic meaning.
Routines are characterized by their functional aspect and rituals are characterized
by their symbolic aspect. Routines focus on the completion of the task with
minimal engagement while rituals focus on the performance of the task with full
engagement. An example of a routine is brushing your teeth; you do it morning
and night because you have to and don't really have to think about it. An example
of a ritual however would be going to church on Christmas eve with your family;
you do it for the experience and you want to be there (you are involved in the
Types of Family Rituals
1. Celebrations practices created and enacted along with standardized culture
celebrations such as holidays, weddings, funerals, bar mitzvahs, fasting, etc.
2. Traditions More idiosyncratic to each family and less culturally influenced
practices such as birthday celebrations, annual holidays, “first one in the lake”,
new PJs as a Christmas gift, etc.
3. Patterned Family Interaction the rituals that organize daily life (bedtime, weekend
routines, seats at the table, family chores, dinnertime, etc.)
Evidence suggests that children who take part in family meals are:
• Less likely to be overweight
• Will eat more healthy foods
• Will have less delinquency
• Will have greater academic achievement • Experience improved psychological wellbeing
• Enjoy more positive family interactions
Bruess’ research on rituals used by couples identified the following 7 types of
1. Enjoyable activities, together rituals, escape episodes
2. Favorites, Private codes (pet names, etc.), play rituals (month anniversaries),
celebration rituals (special restaurant)
3. Daily routine and tasks (Making meals, going to the grocery store, etc.)
4. Intimacy expressions (words to express)
5. Communication rituals (daily phone calls, etc.)
6. Patterns, habits, and mannerisms
7. Spiritual/religious rituals
What are the Functions of Family and Romantic Rituals?
Rituals serve as “relational masonry” (in the building and cementing of the
They contribute to relational maintenance (sustains the bond)
They help with Life Management (make life easier by establishing patterns)
They function as Fun and Enjoyment (stressrelief, enjoyment and recreation)
They provide Togetherness (the opportunity to connect and develop a sense of
Rituals provide a space for couples to communicate (“Talk time”)
1. Enjoyable activities, gettingtogether rituals, established events, and escape
2. Celebration rituals, play rituals, and favorites (ex, fridge magnets, funny gifts)
3. Communication rituals (ex, postcards from every trip)
4. Share/support/vent rituals
1. Rituals stimulate fun and help to maintain relationships fostering loyalty and
keeping friends in touch
2. Rituals provide opportunities for personal improvement (Such as learning new
3. Rituals reinforce the friendship and keep it going by their repetitive nature
4. Rituals help friends share a sense of history and special meanings
5. Rituals allow participants to give and receive support in difficult times 6. Rituals provide selfaffirmation by allowing friends to talk and establish
common ground (and be respected in their ideas)
7. Rituals provide an escape or a break from everyday roles
Family: Stay in touch a little
Friends: Stay in touch the most (living in a different city, etc.)
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According to Kari P. Soule’s study, Women are perceived to nag more than men
because men are more likely than women to only nag other men, whereas women
are comfortable nagging both men and women.
Nagging is encouraged when it is out of caring and for the benefit of the naggee
Telling the nagger you will not comply effectively stops nagging
The differences of verbal noncompliance and behavioral noncompliance.
Verbal noncompliance is when, in the case of the naggee, they are asked to do or
not do something, and they verbally express that they do not want to by saying
"no" or giving a negative verbal response. An example of this would be : "No, it's
not my turn to fold the laundry, ask Rachel to do it. It's her turn." It can be noted
that verbal noncompliance is less frequently used in terms of the naggee as it often
escalates a situation.
Behavioral noncompliance is when the naggee is asked to do, or not do
something, they will simply not do what the persuader wants or not acknowledge
the request; example he or she may continue to play on their computer or watch
t.v. They may also say "Okay" or "All right" without actually doing what the
nagger has asked of them. Behavioral noncompliance is more frequent than verbal
because of the repetitive nature of nagging. By saying "All right" or not making a
verbal refusal it is harder for the nagger to escalate to more annoying forms of
nagging, threats, or aggression. This usually results with the nagger simply
repeating them calmly to the naggee after a given amount of time.
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Forgiveness is a difficult concept to define and a difficult behaviour to perform
A relational process in which a wrong is identified and the partners renegotiate
the relationship—this means there is the possibility of reconciliation.
Forgiveness has the potential to:
• Repair broken relationships
• Restore individual wellbeing • Serve as an expression of continues love and commitment
• Recognize conciliatory behaviour
• Restore relational Justice
• Very important to relational maintenance (as seen in Ch.19)
Motivation to Forgive:
1. Love is a principal reason to forgive someone
2. Many participants choose to forgive in order to restore their own wellbeing or the
wellbeing of the offender
3. A desire to restore the relationship
4. Response to the strategy of the other and is influenced by things like an offer of
apology or a show of remorse.
5. Reframing, in which the forgiver reframes things like the offense, intention, or
character of the offender
1. Directly addressing the transgression with the person who offended them
2. Using Humor, returning to normal, or through other indirect strategies
3. Some grant forgiveness with conditions
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Ch.23 Difficult Conversations
Why people argue and the role of sensemaking in difficult conversations
The authors focus on turning difficult conversations into learning opportunities by
focusing on exploring others’ stories rather than determining who is correct
How we deal with arguments
When we have a disagreement, we often try to figure out “what happened?”
• Sometimes, we aren’t bothered when others disagree with us; In other
situation, we care a great deal
• Disagreements can elicit a lot of negative emotions
• Arguing can seem natural when faced with a disagreement, but it is not
When in a disagreement, people often assume their opponent is the problem:
• We might assume that our opponents are selfish or irrational
• These perceptions impact how people communicate when arguing
• We do not tend to see ourselves as the problem when in a conflict
What’s wrong with arguing
• Arguing is a result of failing to see the other’s side of the story and it
inhibits one’s ability to hear the other side’s version of the story
• Arguing often inhibits change (people do not like to be told to change and
are unlikely to change when they do not feel the other side understands
them) • People need to understand the other side of the story enough to understand
how their opponents’ conclusions make sense
People tell different stories for two reasons
People have different information for two different reasons: people filter
information in different ways and people have access to different information
What people notice is as a result of their perceptions of self and their interests
People assume they notice the same things as other people do
People interpret information differently
Even when people have the same information, they assign it different meanings
Past experiences and rules people have learned for how things should be done
influence how people interpret information
The And Stance
People should attempt to understand their own story and the other person’s story.
First we have to understand the other person’s story; doesn't require us to give up
on our own story
The And Stance allows us to recognize that how each side sees the story and feels
about the story matters
The And Stance gives us the opportunity to assert our beliefs without diminishing
the views or feeling of someone else
Once people understand each other, they can begin to find a way to manage the
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Ch. 24 Orientations to Conflict
3 highlights: 1.Uses a metaphor to describe conflict orientation. comparing conflict to
fire, we need it in our life... to survive, but it can also be a bad thing. For relationships to
grow you need conflict. 2. Uses Taylor swifts song "stay stay stay" to show how to
affectively handle a conflict. 3. Uses the movie Gone with the wind and the fight between
scarlett and Rhett. And what strategy (Rusbult) they use in the fight. Voice (rhett) Exit
(scarlett) and so on.
5 Must knows: 1. Rusbult Graph: Exit "I don't want to talk about it", loyalty "I expect too
much", Neglect "you're bigger than what this is", Voice "I want to work this out". 2. How
people are socially built to deal with conflict based on their gender. Men have difficulties
when dealing with conflict for women. 3. Women are the first to initiate talking about
conflict because they are socialized to view themselves as "relationship experts" (active)
4. Men are aggressive and passive. 5. It is important to improve the communication about
conflict that you are aware and respect that others deal with it differently, as well as,
being aware of how you yourself respond. Ch. 26 Anticomforting
Males and females offer comfort and receive comfort differently. Differences
• Females tend to be more 1. Open to talk about feelings, 2. Express their
emotions, and 3. Seek advice,
• Men tend to be less inclined to 1. Open up about what’s troubling them, 2.
They cover up and hide what they are feeling, and 3. Less inclined to ask
“The Dale Rule” A theory: anticomforting styles often serve to discount, disregard, or
diminish the feelings of someone in emotional distress, under the guise of words of
support and assistance. Using underlying tenets of face theory and conformation,
disconfirmation and rejection…and demonstrates how certain attempts at supportive
messages can be hurtful.
What is being stated in the anticomforting message does not match the intentions of the
person trying to send the message. For Example, a person diagnosed with a serious illness
and their partner plays down the significance of the situation, and emotionally abandones
their ill partner, causing further emotional harm.
Ch. 27 Interculturalintimate conflict
The textbook identifies 7 different coping strategies for interracial couples dealing
with recurring prejudice. List and explain at least 5 of the coping strategies and
provide an example for each.
Ignoring and dismissing: Not paying to the comments and being happy with your
relationship. An example of that coping strategies would be if a couple is at a restaurant
and some lady is looking at them and giving them weird looks. The couple could then
decide not to care and just enjoy the rest of their dinner together because they are happy
Normalizing: Normalizing consists of asking people around them not to care about the
differences in their couple but rather to see what they have in common. An example of
normalizing could be going to meet the parents of one of the partners for the first time
and asking before going that they see them as a normal couple like everyone else, not as
Withdrawal: It consists of avoiding people who are hostile to interracial couples. The
couple then chooses their friends in consequence of what they think of their relationship.
An example of that would be that if they notice that one of their friends always makes
rude comments when they are with him, choosing not to see him anymore.
Educating: That strategy is to help other understand and accept what is their relationship
and how both cultures affect it. An example of that could be to have friends and family
over to have a cultural dinner so they can learn about both cultures and understand how it
is a good thing that they are together.
Confrontation: is when the couples decide to speak up when a situation involving their
differences happens. An example of that would be that if the couple goes for a walk and
someone yells a crude name at them they would react and confront the person about what
they said. Ch. 28 Lying
Lying is a complicated topic because telling a lie is often more kind than telling
Lying is further complicated by different evaluations based on whether the lie
involves a deliberate falsehood or the purposeful omission of information
Although we say that honestly is an important value in all kinds of relationships,
complete truthfulness can conflict with other relational goals
Therefore, we usually have to balance truthfulness with other goals: Politeness,
kindness, career success, popularity
Direct Falsehood: Asked question and lie
Indirect: Hiding information
Lying in Romantic Relationships
Although lying is generally perceived as a destructive behaviour in relationships,
it can actually benefit the relationship and the parties involved
Honesty is one of the top qualities that people look for in a relationship partner
Partner in close relationships tell each other few lies
Partners recognize that some lying is unavoidable in a relationship
Partners Evaluate lies on 3 criteria:
1. If the lie benefits both partners, it is less likely to be viewed as negative
2. Couples develop an unwritten system of categories in which lying is
3. Lies are perceived less negatively if a person believes that the lying party had
the others best interest at heart
Characteristics of Lies
Different in close relationships than casual relationships
The person to whom the lie is told should recognize his or her own role in the
partner’s decision to lie, termed mutual influence
In close relationships, the liar has increased exposure to the deceived party, which
make the process of lying much ore involved the complex, termed multiple
exposure to the lie
In close relationships the partners are more familiar with each other’s behaviours,