Communications

ESSAY TEST 3

This test is based on the following articles and lectures

Begley, P. A., & Ockey, D. A. (2009). When cultures collide: Alternative medicine, biomedicine and patients in the middle. In L. A.

Samovar, R. E., Porter, E. R. McDaniel (Eds.). Intercultural communication: A reader. (12th Ed.). (pp.324-336). Boston, MA: Wadsworth
Bennett, M. J. (1998). Intercultural communication: A current perspective. In M. J. Bennett (Ed). Basic concepts in intercultural

communication: Selected readings. (pp.1-34). Yarmouth, ME: Intercultural Press.
Evanoff, R. (2009). Integration in intercultural ethics. In L. A. Samovar, R. E., Porter, E. R. McDaniel (Eds.). Intercultural

communication: A reader. (12th Ed.). (pp.447-459). Boston, MA: Wadsworth.
Stewart, E. C., & Bennett, M. J. (1991). American cultural patterns: A cross-cultural perspective. Yarmouth, ME: Intercultural Press

Read each question carefully before you answer. There are multiple sub-questions under the main question. Make sure your answer is

complete, accurate, and precise.

1. An international student who is studying in the U.S. says, “I am really surprised by the Americans. Their students greet the

professors just as they would greet other classmates. It is unthinkable in my culture. Professors here tell a lot of stories in their

personal lives. One time my professor said ‘I don’t know the answer. I will have to look it up’. I was shocked. How can they teach me if

they don’t even know the answer?! The most shocking thing is that we are asked to evaluate our professors at the end of the semester. What

do I know about teaching?! I am just a student.”

i. What values from Stewart and Bennett’s article on American Social Relations help explain the international student’s perceptions

of the American classroom culture and relationships between professors and students? Specifically, why do American students greet their

professors like a peer; why do professors share personal stories with their students, why do professors admit they do not know the

answers; and why are American students (as opposed to other teachers) asked to evaluate their professors? Note: Make sure you list

multiple (at least THREE) values to capture all the perceptions. List the values first and explain how exactly each applies to the

international student’s observations (i.e., making specific link between the values and the behaviors) (6pts)
ii. Earlier in the semester, Hooker (2009) argued that that the best way to learn a culture is 1) intellectual preparation and 2)

immersion. Based on the argument, how should students who study in a different country adapt to the local classroom culture? You should

use your knowledge about intercultural communication from this course and/or personal experience of study-abroad, if applicable. (4pts)
2. Ethics is a product of culture. As cultures are different from each other, so are ethical standards. However, Evanoff believes

that cross-cultural dialogue in ethics is possible. What are Evanoff’s arguments that cross-cultural dialogue in ethics is possible?

[Note: The question here does not ask you about the benefits of the integrative approach or how to achieve integrative ethics. The

question asks you about the fundamental assumptions that make integrative approach of ethics possible.]

To answer this question, list and explain each argument clearly and use at least one example to illustrate each of the author’s arguments.

[Note: there are at least TWO arguments. Make sure your answer is complete.] (10pts).
3. Begley and Ockey (2009) discussed different health belief systems in the U.S. and used the following incident to illustrate. A

Hmong teenage girl was sent to the hospital and diagnosed with a terminal tumor. Doctors believed that to prolong the teenager’s life, she

needed to go through chemotherapy, which decision was objected by both the teenager herself and her parents. The Hmong girl and her

parents believe in shamanism which is rooted in the belief that diseases are caused by the loss of souls; as chemotherapy would not help

one retrieve the errant souls, chemotherapy would be no use; and even if the life is prolonged with chemotherapy, it would have no

meaning.

This is a clash of different health beliefs. Now you need to apply Evanoff’s model of cross-cultural criticism to help the two sides, the

doctor who believes in Western biomedicine and the patient and her parents who believe in alternative medicine, to be aware of both

advantages and limitations of each other’s beliefs and adopt the integrative approach of ethics.

a) First, explain the underlying assumptions and values associated with biomedical and alternative health belief in particular,

Hmong’s shamanism, respectively. You should refer to the textbook on pp.325-328 about different health beliefs and their specific

healthcare practices in order to understand what the values are. (4 pts)

b) Refer Figure 1 on p. 455 Models of Cross-cultural Criticism and base on the activity in class, apply the four steps of criticism

for Western biomedical health belief and Hmong’s supernatural health belief: (ethnocentric criticism is already stated for you), intra-

cultural criticism, cross-cultural criticism, and integrative criticism. In other words, you will act as both Western and Hmong

individuals and pretend that you are engaging the dialogues of cross-cultural criticism. Your criticism must include at least ONE positive

and at least ONE critical aspects of each health belief. (16pts)
Biomedical health belief system of Western cultures Alternative (or supernatural) health belief system of Hmong culture
I. Ethnocentric criticism

Biomedical health belief is better than alternative health belief, or Western health belief is better than Hmong’s shamanism

Alternative health belief is better than biomedical health belief or Hmong’s shamanism is better than Western health belief.
II. Intracultural criticism

III. Cross-cultural criticism
IV. Integrative criticism
4. Extra Credit (5 pts)

Study abroad programs have been an essential component of internalization and contributed positively to students’ intercultural learning.

However, Rexeisen, Anderson, Lawton, and Hubbard (2008) discovered that although study abroad contributed to an immediate gain of

students’ intercultural competence, four months later, the gain disappeared. In other words, students’ intercultural competence level

regressed back to the same level as before they started the study abroad. Rexeisen (2013) described this trend as the boomerang effect.

What is your explanation that why students’ intercultural competence regressed back to the original level? After learning about this

research, what would you suggest returning students from study abroad (such as you, if you had studied abroad) should do to maintain and

sustain their intercultural competence in the long-term? For those who have never studied abroad, what can they do to improve their

intercultural learning?

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