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Relational Communication


Courses Offered

Comm 210. Interpersonal Communication

Interpersonal communication is the study of face-to-face interaction and the creation of meaningful relationships. In this course, we will explore and develop five areas of interpersonal communication skill: interpretive competence, self competence, role competence, goal competence, and message competence. Topics include family systems, self identity, intimate relationships, gender issues, power, language, and non-verbal communication.

Comm 320. Family Communication

We create families through communication: by sharing meanings with others, socializing children, making decisions, handling conflict, and developing family rituals. This course focuses on the various communication processes that shape families, blending academic and personal perspectives.

Comm 360. The Art & Science of Persuasion

This course provides a comprehensive view of persuasion by analyzing how persuasion operates at both an interpersonal and a social level. The analysis of persuasive contexts includes discussions of popular culture, news media, advertising, cults, social movements, politics, law, families and interpersonal relationships. The study of persuasion will be applied to personal communication skills such as: the production of ethical persuasive messages, and critical media literacy skills.

Comm 371. Intercultural Communication: Communicating Across Differences

This course addresses the social construction of inequality, specifically focusing on how communication processes are the means by which gender, race, class, nationality, culture and ethnicity are created, and are also the means by which individuals can resist personal participation in perpetuating systems of inequality. Through encountering multicultural experiences, interviewing people in different social positions, and engaging in exercises and simulations, we will learn to broaden our self-identities and our understanding of others by learning about the experiences, feelings, and views of people in social situations different from our own. Note: this course is cross-listed with Women's Studies.

Comm 372. Gender Communication
Gender Communication explores communication differences related to identity, power, and social constructions of gender. The impact of gender on communication in various contexts will be explored, including: media, educational settings, workplace cultures, family, and personal relationships. The purpose of this course is to increase our ability to recognize how we construct meanings associated with sex and gender, how culture and social power shape these meanings, and how media and social institutions perpetuate these meanings. In addition, we will explore whether gender affects verbal and non-verbal communication styles and rituals. This course will include an international connection with college/university peers in another culture. The objectives of this international connection are to gain appreciation for the impact of culture and society on gender identity, and to gain understanding of how gender is performed and communicated cross-culturally.

Comm 460. Communication Theory

There are a number of different ways of knowing incorporated in communication research. This part of Communication 460 will focus on social scientific studies that contribute to our knowledge and understanding of communication. We will first address the status of theory and research in several areas that are reluctant to your personal lives: marriage, family, persuasion, interpersonal competence, conflict, intercultural communication, and gender communication. In the process of exploring these areas we will learn a number of theories of communication, learn how to read journal research articles, and learn how to think critically about theories of communication. Next, we will explore meta-theoretical issues of communication and address the strengths and limitations of social scientific studies to enhance our understanding of meaning, language processes, culture, social construction of reality, and power.