Faculty of Arts

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitCommunications and Media Studies
OfferedCaulfield Second semester 2014 (Day)
Clayton Second semester 2014 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Associate Professor Gil-Soo Han


The unit covers how people from different cultural backgrounds communicate or miscommunicate and how they can overcome any difficulties, resulting from cultural diversities.
Today, intercultural interactions are part of everyday encounters in most work places. It is essential for future workforces to be equipped with knowledge and skills for cross-cultural communications. These are part of 'global competence' of the workforce.
For effective learning outcomes, the unit employs interdisciplinary insights from communications, anthropology, cultural studies and psychology (e.g. E. Hall, W. Gudykunst). The unit also touches upon how ethnic groups utilise the media to express their identities, with reference to migrants in Australia, e.g. Chinese, Korean, Southeast Asian migrants.


On successful completion of this unit, students will:

  1. Have been exposed to, and have a competent understanding of contemporary scholarship on the relationships between communications and culture;
  2. Have acquired an informed understanding of how different worldviews impact on communications;
  3. Have come to understand the processes of immigrants' economic and cultural adaptations as part of their development of effective intercultural communications;
  4. Have obtained in-depth understanding of nonverbal communications;
  5. Have developed greater capacities to deal with inter-ethnic tension for effective communications;
  6. Have come to understand a range of theories on intercultural communications, e.g., cultural convergence theory, identity management theory, identity negotiation theory, communication accommodation theory, and cultural schema theory;
  7. Have acquired an informed understanding of how ethnic identities and immigrant life are represented through a range of media.


Formative essay on diverse perspectives of intercultural communications (1000 words): 20%
Empirical research essay on intercultural communications (2000 words): 40%
Exam (1500 words) 40%

Chief examiner(s)

Workload requirements

One 2-hour seminar per week (first hour is a conventional lecture and second is an interactive seminar)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


Both Gateway units ATS1279 and ATS1280 in Communications