Preventing Another 9/11 Through Religious Pluralism

Today, the 16th anniversary of the September 11th attacks on the United States (U.S.), is a fitting day to discuss Eboo Patel's Acts of Faith. Could the attacks have been prevented? Of course. While it could be argued better intelligence and domestic security measures could have prevented them, it would be unrealistic to expect a … Continue reading Preventing Another 9/11 Through Religious Pluralism

Intercultural Communication Competence in Healthcare

Earlier this summer, I discussed three different areas of communication in health contexts. Today I focus specifically on intercultural communication in health contexts between medical staff and their patients. This issue is close to my heart because I've interpreted for family and friends of family when they've had medical needs. For instance, I remember a few occasions … Continue reading Intercultural Communication Competence in Healthcare

Buses as Public Spheres

A few years ago professor Renee Human rode the bus in Lexington, KY and spent one year analyzing her experience from a critical lens. She found a few patterns in how people who rode the bus communicated. Human (2008) asks two research questions during her experiment, the second question partly has to do with personal maps. Citing Benjamin … Continue reading Buses as Public Spheres

Self-categorization Theory

Henri Tajfel passed away in 1982, but work on the social identity approach to intergroup/intercultural communication was just heating up, so the late John Turner (Tajfel's student and colleague) continued the work with others-they attempted to explain how certain social identities (as explained by Social Identity Theory) are cognitively activated within people's brains, and their answer to this question … Continue reading Self-categorization Theory

Social Identity Theory

Throughout the week, you probably think of yourself as a daughter/son, sister/brother, mother/father, girlfriend/boyfriend, wife/husband, friend, coworker, employee, teammate, student, partner, traveler, customer, and countless other categories of identities. Social Identity Theory (SIT), first developed by Henri Tajfel and John Turner during the 1970s and 1980s, assumes these types of identities can influence our thoughts … Continue reading Social Identity Theory

Intergroup Contact Theory

What can we do to reduce prejudice?^ In 1954, Gordon Allport created the Contact Hypothesis in an attempt to answer that question, and it has been a successful framework in the struggle against prejudice for many decades. As alluded to by its name, the Contact Hypothesis focuses on contact between people of different backgrounds (e.g., cultures) and assumes … Continue reading Intergroup Contact Theory

Communication Model In Five Minutes

The video below was created by the folks at TedEd and explains some pretty foundational concepts of interpersonal and other kinds of Communication, these are concepts that we sometimes take weeks to cover in a classroom, explained in under five minutes. The video serves as a great introduction to the transactional model of communication, contextual influences … Continue reading Communication Model In Five Minutes

Communication Accommodation Theory

Have you ever caught yourself speaking slower and louder to someone who did not speak your language well in an attempt to help them understand you? Or perhaps you remember a time when someone did that to you because they thought you didn't understand them. These accommodating behaviors, their motivations, and  their consequences, are what … Continue reading Communication Accommodation Theory