Interpersonal Communication Skills [CRN 81200]

Discipline: Communication Studies
Instructor: Cvancara
Credits: 3
Day: A
Start: 1100
End: 1220
Field Work: Day 1 | September 27, 2018 | Ghana
Prerequisites: None Download Syllabus

Interpersonal communication is studied throughout this course to highlight psychological, social, cultural, and linguistic factors that influence communication patterns in close relationships. Discussions will blend research and theory with everyday experiences to develop an advanced understanding of communication principles that affect relationship initiation, maintenance, and deterioration. The course will enable students to identify the strategies and tactics they use when interacting with different relationship partners to obtain personal needs and desires. Examples of interactions are used to illustrate constructive and destructive patterns, and students will practice skills to implement supportive and healthy practices. Special attention is given to personal characteristics and their intersectionalities. Types of power, displays of social status, and conflict strategies will also be reviewed to identify effective approaches to communicating with others. Assignments will require students to observe verbal, non-verbal, and listening behaviors to heighten awareness of the diverse forms in which interpersonal communication is performed, as well as apply primary research to analyze their experiences throughout the SAS voyage.

Student Learning Objectives:

  1. To understand better the dynamics of interpersonal communication and become reflective of one’s interpersonal communication practices;
  2. To increase understanding of communication processes and stages when interacting, building, sustaining, and deteriorating relationships with others;
  3. To learn an array of communication skills that enable more productive conversations with others in a variety of contexts;
  4. To increase understanding of interpersonal communication as connected to issues of personal identity, social class, gender, race;
  5. To understand power and negotiation in interpersonal relationships;
  6. To understand better the array of interpersonal conflict styles as well as listening and other relational skills.

Field Work

Country: Ghana
Day: 1
Date: September 27, 2018

This field class is designed to expose students to the effects of globalization on women who live in Ghana. The maternal role females play in the family is an embedded dimension of relationship development that impacts the health and well-being of all family members, in all societies around the world. The field class will visit a local woman’s group, have a meal in a public space, meet with a local NGO, and interact with community leaders who are interested in raising awareness of the plight of women and families who are impacted in negative ways by the globalization of world economies.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Investigate how interpersonal communication and relationships in the age of globalization have evolved over time for individuals who live in Ghana.
  2. Examine the existence of relationships experienced by females who work – investigate how communication is used to negotiate what is being initiated, maintained, and dissolved over time in their personal relationships.
  3. Engage in conversation with local NGO staff and community members to discuss the implications regarding the mental, physical, and social well-being of females balancing family and economic hardships.
  4. Discuss how individuals, non-profits/NGOs, and communities around the world can provide alternatives to positively impact the health and well-being of families living in Ghana.